The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cottage Loaf Take 1

albacore's picture
albacore

Cottage Loaf Take 1

Here is my first attempt at a traditional English cottage loaf - these loaves are not as easy to make as they first appear to be!

The dough was made with white bread flour, hydration 58%; preferment was a 4 hour sponge with 36% pff, hydration 130% and 0.84% idy.

Top knot dough weight 312g, base 710g.

As you can see, the loaf has a bit of a lean on! I think this is to do with placement and the joining method which involves making a vertical hole through both parts of the loaf with thumb and fingers. This is known as bashing.

Further work required to get a more professional looking product!

Lance

albacore's picture
albacore

Not perfect, but getting better.

I cut the vertical hole in the top knot with a 1/2" cork borer before placing it on the base piece and then used a wooden spoon handle to push down through the hole to the bottom of the base.

I also did radial scores in both pieces to make the expansion go outwards rather than upwards.

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

Big improvement from first to second bake Lance.  Are you going to bake this again?  It must be quite hard to keep them vertical aligned.

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Benny. I think the lean can develop either in final proof - if the shaping isn't perfect and the tensions aren't totally symmetrical, or in the oven - if the heating isn't uniform. Not much I can do about the latter, though.

There's an option, preferred by Walter Banfield in "Manna", to proof both pieces separately and top at the end of final proof,

I might try this method next time.

Lance

Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

Even now, on the first try, the bread looks amazing. I have the urge to cut a slice and spread it with butter. Appetizing view is half the battle.

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Timothy - this kind of white bread with a soft, close knit crumb and thin crispy crust is very tasty when made with good quality flour and a sponge system, either 3-4 hours or overnight.

 

Lance