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White Bread Cottage Loaf

Makes 1 cottage loaf

The distinctive shape of a cottage loaf is made using two balls of dough rather than a loaf made in a bread tin.  It’s surprisingly easy and fun to make this impressive looking loaf.

Free from Egg, Soya, Dairy, Nuts
Vegetarian, Vegan


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  1. Put the flour, yeast and sugar into a large bowl and blend them together.
  2. Pour in the water and stir until everything looks craggy and lumpy, then stir in the salt.
  3. Stir in the oil.
  4. Using your hands, gather everything together into a doughy mass.
  5. Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses. Avoid adding flour if possible.
  6. Cover the dough bowl with a larger upturned bowl and leave it in a warm place for the dough to double in size, which will take about an hour.
  7. Rub some oil around the inside of a large baking tray.
  8. Knead the dough for another 100 presses.
  9. Cut the dough into two pieces, one piece about a third of the dough and the other piece about two thirds of dough.
  10. Roll both pieces into dough balls.
  11. Put the larger dough ball on the prepared baking tray and place the smaller one on top.
  12. Press your thumb right down through the top dough ball.
  13. Invert a large mixing bowl over the dough and leave it to rise in a warm place for 35-40 minutes.
  14. Pre-heat the oven.
  15. Remove the inverted bowl and bake for 40–45 minutes. You will know it’s done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  16. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool.


large baking tray and mixing bowls


220˚C, Fan 200˚C, 425˚F, Gas 7

Cooking time

40-45 minutes
Made this with 300g plain white and 200g wholemeal rye flour, as that’s all had. Turned out great!
By Sarah
27 Jan 2021
I made this on Saturday. Really good... Used 300gms white Doves and 200gms wholewheat Doves flour... sunflower and sesame seeds ... Took me all the way back to childhood loaves and the fun of pulling off the top of the loaf!
By Sara
01 Sep 2020
It's okay, my dough turned out too sticky to knead, end up adding just enough flour to keep it on the edge of sticky. Turned out a little dense. Could also do with more salt.
By Paul
29 Oct 2017
it looks good (when you get it right)
By summer
09 Oct 2017
I love this bread also but mine didnt come out better! It tasted delicious but the top part of my loaf ended up diagonal to the bottom. The second time I made it I wanted a standard shape loaf so used this recipe and put it in a bread tin for ease. Must make it again and improve on my shape
By Mrs Yvonne Davies
23 Jan 2012
Love this bread. I think mine came out better though. Check the forum, I've posted a picture.
By Mr Jethro Marriage
16 Nov 2011

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