Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

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For me, nothing quite compares to the beauty, taste and smell of homemade bread. Four ingredients, flour, yeast, water and salt, when mixed together, worked, rested, shaped and baked give such incredibly satisfying results. Bread is surely the heart of any feast and therefore, teaching  others to bake it is of upmost importance to me. Using step by step instructions and photographs, you too can learn how to make and bake this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

Bread Making Is Easy To Learn And Bake At Home

Inspired by a friend on Twitter, who claimed that bread baking was beyond her, I set out to show her she could. While she is a very accomplished baker, far more so than me, bread is her baking stumbling block. Everyone can make bread. Are you wary of baking bread? With this guide and a relaxing cup of tea, read through and then get baking!

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf soft crumb with crunchy crust.

Following the techniques and tips in this recipe will guarentee that you too, can make delicious, homemade bread. Also the more that you practise, the more confident and better you will get a baking bread at home. It is important to remember that occaisionally a loaf of bread will turn out mishapen. Rarely is it inebible though!

Two balls of bread on top of each other with the bottom one larger than the top. Grooves scored around the outside.
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Recipe: Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

320mls Water at room temperature

1/2tsp Caster Sugar

7g Dried Yeast make sure that is reasonably fresh (3 months old max) – I use Allinson in the green tub/sachets

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Method: For making by hand or using a stand mixer with dough attachment.

You will need a large, buttered baking tray.

Making The Bread Dough Using A Stand Mixer:

  • Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer in the order that they are listed. This ensures that the yeast does not come into direct contact with the yeast.

  • With dough hook attached mix on low speed until all the ingredients are combined.

Mixing dough using a stand mixer.

  • At this point if you wish to knead by hand, scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl. See making by hand method.
  • Continue mixing the dough on medium speed for a further 10 minutes.
  • After the kneading time has elapsed stop the machine and tear off a small piece of dough. Stretch it between your fingers until it is so thin that light can be seen through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If it tears whilst stretching, add back to the dough and continue to mix for a further 2 minutes as before. Repeat after each mixing period until the dough passes the test.
  • Scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
  • Place the covered bowl in a draught free place, away from a direct heat source.

  • Leave until the dough has doubled in size.

Making The Dough By Hand

  • Place the flour and butter into a large bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flower using your fingertips.
  • Add the sugar and yeast to the bowl on one side. Place the salt on the opposite side, so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with the yeast.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and then add all of the water.
  • Using your hand, shaped like a claw, bring the dry ingredients into the water and mix them together.
  • Continue mixing in the bowl until the dough has formed a sticky ball.
  • Place the dough on to a clean worktop and push with the heal of your hand to
  • Tear a small piece of the dough and perform the windowpane test as described above. If the dough tears knead for a further 2 minutes and test again.
  • Repeat the kneading and testing procedure until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  • Form the dough into a ball, place in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size.

Shaping And Building The Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

For both methods given:

  • When the dough has doubled in size turn out on to a lightly floured surface, ensuring the top of the dough is in contact with the worktop. What was the top is now the bottom.
  • Weigh the dough and cut off one quarter.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Turning out and dividing the dough
  • Starting with the larger piece of dough, stretch and pull one side and press down into the opposite side.
  • Now stretch and pull the opposite side. Press down as before.
  • Turn the dough and repeat 4 more times, where the edge is rough and untouched, until your dough resembles the bottom right photo.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Building tension into the dough.
  • Flip the dough over and create a ball shape. Cup your hands around the dough, tucking and turning to create a tight ball shape.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Creating a ball shaped dough using your hands.
  • Place the dough ball base of the cottage loaf, on to a prepared baking tray.
  • Repeat the streching/pulling process with the smaller piece of dough, then shape into a ball.
  • Place the smaller ball centrally on top of the base.
  • With two floured fingers push down, through the centre of the top ball, tight into the base. Doing so joins the top and bottom together, creating one loaf.
  • Score the top 6 times and the bottom 12 times. Cut vertically, from top to bottom.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Assembling the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Proving The Cottage Loaf A Second Time

  • Cover with a tea towel, leave in a draft free place until doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes.
  • While the loaf is undergoing its second prove, preheat your oven to it hottest setting. Usually 250C/230C, gas mark 9, 500F.
  • 15 minutes before the loaf is ready, place a pan with 5cm/1″ of water in the base of the oven. The steam created will delay the forming of a hard crust on the loaf, allowing maximum expansion, also called oven spring, to take place.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf ready for the oven.

Baking The Cottage Loaf

  • As soon as the loaf has doubled in size it is ready to bake.
  • Remove the tea towel and place in the middle/lower part of the oven. Make sure there is enough height room, allowing for oven spring, when placing your loaf in the oven.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at the hottest temperature and then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 450F.
  • Continue to bake for a further 35-45 minutes.
  • The loaf is baked when it is a deep golden colour, feels light (not heavy and dense) in your oven glove protected hands and most importantly sounds hollow when rapped on the top and base with a knuckle.
  • Remove from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf golden and delicious.

An incredible homemade, home baked artisan style bread.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf with deeper slashes.

Serve sliced as open sandwiches, or toasted. Alternatively serve as an accompaniment to a meal, such as Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Best eaten within a day of making, this bread will keep for up to 4 days in a bread bin, which allows air to circulate. Do not to keep in an airtight container as it may go mouldy very quickly.

FF Cottage Loaf Breadmaking Tutorial

To freeze, thoroughly cool, then double wrap in cling film. Keep in the freezer for no longer than a month. Defrost at room temperature and refresh by placing in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf then you make also like these:

Farmhouse White Loaf

Farmhouse White Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Baking bread is such a rewarding experience. Whether you make the entire loaf by hand, or enlist the help of kitchen machinery, each loaf will be far superior in both flavour and quality than it’s mass produced counterpart. Even if you have a great bakery in your local vicinity, baking your own means you can make unusual, rarely seen loaves such as this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, enjoy preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced without the written consent of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

I am entering my Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf in the #GBBOBloggers2017 linky hosted by http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk

 

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

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Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

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Hello lovelies, I make no apologies for posting two bread recipes in a row. Because….I simply had to share these utterly scrumptious, Knotted Poppyseed Rolls with you as soon as possible!

Crusty, white, seed topped individual small baked breads.

See? They not only look amazing, their taste is absolutely divine. Golden, crusted rolls, sprinkled with poppyseeds and a light, tender crumb within. And as an added bonus they are a breeze to make.

 

While these Knotted Poppyseed Rolls are pretty enough to grace any dinner table, they are also delicious filled with your choice of delights, wrapped and popped into a bag for a packed lunch treat!

Personally I am looking forward to slathering a roll with butter and enjoying it with Carrot Soup for my lunch.

Kneading Dough Is Therapeutic

I love baking bread and it is a lot easier using a bread maker, or stand mixer. Yet, there is a very real pleasure when making bread by hand, Kneading can be very therapeutic, especially after a stressful day. My Grandma always taught me to make bread when I was angry and pastry when I was relaxed. I do believe there is some truth in that. Since it is almost imossible to over knead bread by hand and if making pastry by hand, you really do need the lightest touch.

Stand Mixers – They Really Are A Kitchen Aid:

Because of the health issues I have, using a stand mixer to perform the kneading ensures that I can always make fresh bread for my family. And also our elderly neighbours, when snow makes travelling to the shops dangerous during winter.

Yet making these rolls gives a real ‘hands on’ experience with the dough; rolling, shaping, figuring out which way to tie the knot. And, if you can tie a knot, you too can make these Knotted Poppyseed Rolls!

Also, these rolls are great for making with children. Where bread dough is rather like grown-up play-doh, that can be eaten once baked. Now that really is fun!

A single knotted poppyseed roll cooling on a rack.

Rather like cupcakes, rolls have the appeal of a whole individual portion. While I enjoy a slice of cake as much as I enjoy a slice of bread, having a home baked roll, all to myself, feels indulgent. Since this blog is all about sharing, why not make extra? While this recipe is easily doubled, I don’t recommend making a double batch in a bread maker or stand mixer.

Recipe : Makes 8 Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Note: Follow the alternatives given for vegan rolls.

280ml Tap Water – at room temperature

7g/1 sachet Active Dried Yeast

1tsp Honey or 1/2tsp sugar

450g/1lb Strong White Bread Flour – I use organic stoneground white flour from Shipton Mill

1tbsp Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing, alternatively use 1tbsp Rapeseed Oil (Canola Oil)

7g  Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

2tbsp Full fat Milk – or room temperature tap water

Poppyseeds

Making The Knotted Bread Roll Dough

Place the water, yeast and honey/sugar in the bowl of a bread maker or stand mixer – with dough hook attached.

Add the flour.

Place the butter/oil and salt on top of the flour.

If using a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and start.

For a stand mixer, mix until the ingredients come together and then continue to mix for a further 5 minutes on a medium speed. Stop the mixer, remove any dough on the hook and place into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth until the dough has doubled in size – approx an hour.

Once doubled in size, remove the cloth and mix again for 5 minutes as before – this will knock back the dough.

When the dough cycle has finished on the bread maker, start it again and allow to mix for 5 minutes to knock back the dough.

While the dough is knocking back, lightly grease 2 baking trays with a little butter.

How To Make A Dough Knot

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide. The dough into 8 equal portions.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
Roll a portion of dough out with your hands. Form into a horseshoe shape.
Roll a portion of dough out with your hands. Form into a horseshoe shape.
Take the right side and cross it over the left side.
Take the right side and cross it over the left side.
Bring the left side under and through the centre. You will have made a knot!
Bring the left side under and through the centre. You will have made a knot!

If it doesn’t work first time don’t worry, it took me a couple of practices to get it right. Simply re-roll the dough and start again.

Adding The Poppyseeds

Place the rolls onto the baking sheet, as each one is formed. Space well apart, I placed 4 rolls on each sheet.

Brush milk over the surface of each roll.
Brush milk or water over the surface of each roll.
Sprinkle poppyseeds over each roll.
Sprinkle poppyseeds over each roll.

Cover both trays with a clean tea towel and leave the rolls until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

Baking The Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

10 minutes before the rolls are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.

As soon as the rolls are doubled in size, remove the tea towels and bake for 15 minutes in the centre of a preheated oven until golden. To test if the roll is baked, rap your knuckle against the base, it will sound hollow when baked.

As soon as the rolls are baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Allow the rolls to cool. They can be eaten warm with butter, or cool completely if adding a filling.

These Knotted Poppyseed Rolls freeze beautifully and as they are best eaten withing 2 days of baking, simply pop any extra into a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.

 

Knotted white poppyseed rolls with a descriptive overlay.

 

 

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Knotted Poppyseed Rolls you may also like these:

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Knotted Poppyseed Rolls
Oat Bran White Bread

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Knotted Poppyseed Rolls
Farmhouse White Loaf

Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks 

FF Knotted Poppyseed Rolls
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

How do you like your rolls, warm with butter, with your favourite filling, maybe ham or cheese, or both?

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Crunchy Seeded Bread

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Hi there, thank you for stopping by.  So today I have this Crunchy Seeded Bread recipe to share with you. And it tastes utterly amazing. Because each mouthful is filled with the taste of freshly baked bread and nutty, mixed seeds, including; poppy, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Easy to make, either by hand, bread maker or stand mixer with dough hook attachment.

Crunchy Seeded Bread

Making this bread using my bread maker, stand mixer and by hand. Each method is rigorously tested and gives consistently delicious results. While the seeds give this bread incredible crunch and flavour, especially good when toasted.

 

Country style loaf with one crust cut off.

Recipe : Makes One Crunchy Seeded Bread Loaf

260ml  Water – tepid

7g  Sachet Dried Yeast – I use Allinson easy bake

1tbsp  Runny Honey

450g/1lb  Strong White Bread Flour

4tbsp  Mixed Seed (I used a mixture of poppy, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin)

1tbsp  Unsalted Butter – plus extra for greasing the loaf tin

7g Salt – I use Maldon

Method :

Bowl – refers to bread maker tin, stand mixer bowl or large bowl for hand mixing.

Making The Bread Dough

Place the water, yeast and honey into the bowl.  Swish around with clean fingers to mix.  Add the flour, butter and salt. Do not add any seeds yet.

If using a bread maker set to mix and prove. Add 3 tablespoons of mixed seeds when prompted by your machine during the mixing process.

When using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook, mix for 8 minutes.  Now add 3 tablespoons of mixed seeds and continue to mix for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove dough and place in a buttered bowl cover in cling film and leave until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

And if hand mixing, bring all the ingredients together with your hand.  Place on a very lightly floured worktop.  Knead for a good 10 minutes.  If the dough gets sticky, keep kneading and working it – if you add extra flour the finished bread will be dry.  After a good 10 minutes kneading, the dough should have a smooth elasticity.  Add 3 tablespoons of mixed seeds and knead into the dough until evenly dispersed. Place the kneaded dough into a buttered bowl, cover in cling film and leave until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Shaping The Dough Into A Loaf

Turn the seeded bread dough out onto a lightly floured work top. Stretch the dough out and fold each end (a third of the dough) back into the centre. Turn the dough by a quarter and repeat. Turn and repeat the folding twice more (4 times in total).  This builds structure into your loaf.

Shaping the crunchy seeded bread for a loaf tin before it’s second proof.

Into a buttered 2lb place your shaped loaf.

Cover with a clean cotton tea towel and put in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1-2 hours.

Adding The Crunchy Seeded Topping

Lightly brush the surface with water, or spray with water and sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of mixed seeds, pressing them lightly into the top of the dough.

Risen dough in the tin ready for baking.

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.

Baking The Seeded Bread

Place the proofed dough into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The bread should be a golden brown and sound hollow when knocked with your knuckle on the base.  I turn my loaf straight out into the oven rack to crisp up the base for  a few minutes, while I quickly wash the loaf tin up. CAREFUL THE TIN IS VERY HOT!!

As soon as the Crunchy Seeded Bread is baked remove from the oven. Turn out of the tin, if not already done and place on a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.

Breathe in deeply.  It doesn’t matter how many times I bake bread, the smell is amazing!!

Now you have to wait until the loaf is cooled, or only just warm. If you try to cut through the bread when it’s hot it’ll just go squishy.  It’s worth the wait, I promise!

A sliced loaf of crunchy seeded bread on a wooden board.

Also, allowing the bread to cool makes the crumb lighter, helps the loaf keep it’s shape and is more easily digested.

 

Toasting takes this bread to another level!!
Toasting takes this bread to another level!!

Yummy, scrummy a big bite for my rumbly tummy!

You have to taste this to believe it!
You have to taste this to believe it!

I love eating this Crunchy Seeded Bread sliced and toasted ( I know I’ve also said  that about my Oat Bran White Bread – I can have two favourites?!). Also it is ideal for dunking in soup, eating with chilli – in fact this bread is perfect for any occasion which requires bread!  So I guess you could call this an easy, everyday  loaf, perfect for feasting and sharing!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Crunchy Seeded Bread you may also like these:

Easy Home Cottage Loaf

Easy homemade cottage loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

Seeded cob loaf of bread on a wooden board.
Seeded Cob Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Lighter wholemeal bread loaf.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Baking bread at home is such a rewarding experience and a great way to get children involved in the kitchen. Since it is very difficult to over work bread made by hand, dough is the perfect medium for them to practice with. Also, I find when they have had a hand in making something, such as my Better Than Takeout Pizza they are much more inclined to eat what they’ve made and also try new flavours. And this can work for adults too!

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Crunchy Seeded Bread recipe with descriptive graphics for Pinterest.

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