When I was little I was obsessed with cottage loaves, I remember staring up at them in the bakers, thinking they looked a lot more interesting than normal loaves, on the few occasions my mum bought one, it was rather exciting! Even back then cottage loaves weren’t that common, you don’t see them at all now (at least not in my bit of London), so of course I was going to have a go at making one.
The recipe is from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, a book which is almost half full with bread recipes, the rest being a few cakes and lots of pastries. As you can see from the photo, I didn’t quite get my shaping right, it started out ok but as it grew during the second proving the bun on top got progressively more and more to one side and the slits I cut in the side disappeared. I wish Paul were around to tell me what went wrong! But it’s appearance only, the actual loaf is incredibly soft and delicious (but with a nice crust). This dough had a small amount of butter in and you can definitely tell that there is a little something extra to the bread.