I have fond memories of this classic British bread form from my childhood, but I don’t recall seeing it in bakeries recently. I was inspired to try my hand at it by a stunning photograph posted on Twitter by Karl Bowyer.
Although my version is not as spectacular, I take heart from the words of Elizabeth David (in English Bread and Yeast Cookery):
“Cottage loaves, as all professional bakers writing for their colleagues readily admit, are notoriously difficult to mould and bake…”
And her recipe doesn’t even include the slashes that seem to me to be so characteristic of this loaf – but do add to its difficulty. So if you want to omit those you are in good company! Continue reading