Taffs Masterbaking – How to bake a White Cob Loaf
If you’re not baking your own bread, why not?
500g Strong White Flour
10g Instant Yeast
30g unsalted butter – softened
320ml cold water
Olive oil for kneading
1) Put the flour in a bowl, make a dip in the middle and pop the butter in there. Put the yeast on one side and the salt on the other. They shouldn’t be touching as that will kill the yeast and your bread wont rise
2) Add about 3/4 of the water and turn the mixture round in your hand. Or use a mixer with a dough hook if you’re lazy. (like me)
You should end up with a rough dough. Mine usually look a bit wetter than this
3) Now the fun part. Coat the work surface with a little Olive Oil and take out all your frustrations by kneading the dough for about 5-10 minutes. There is no real method I use, its just stretching the dough then folding it back up.
You’ll end up with the dough looking silky, its bizarre and I love it. You then get a bowl, lightly oiled and pop the dough in there. put over a slightly damp teatowel or clingfilm and leave in somewhere at room temperature for between 1-3 hours, till its at least doubled in size.
In this last pic I’d moved the bowl just before taking the pic and knocked the air out
4) Pop some parchment paper on a baking tray. Lightly flour the side and pour your dough out. You want to now knock the air out of it, then shape it into a cob shape. Any folds should be tucked underneath
Leave it for about an hour till its doubled in size again. You want to get it to where you prod it with your finger lightly it springs back.
Once its looking ready pop your oven on 230C and fill a roasting tray with water, and put it in the bottom of the oven. The steam helps to create a nice crust on the bread.
Let the bread cool on a wire rack
PHWOOOAAARRRR. Let the bread cool before slicing, it’ll taste better