Use your loaf, bake this cob

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

Regular Times columnist Arlene Thompson, of Carrickfergus Cookery School, at Carrick YMCA, this week tells readers how to home bake fresh bread.

White cob bread

Ingredients:

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2 level tsp salt

7g sachet fast-action yeast

3 tbsp olive oil

300ml tepid water (not hot)

Method:

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well.

If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface

and knead for 10 minutes.

Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with oiled cling film or a slightly damped clean tea towel.

2. Leave to rise in a warm kitchen (not near any draughts or direct heat) for 1

hour until doubled in size, or place in the fridge overnight.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough by giving it a quick knead, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

3. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

Cook’s Tip

Put an empty deep sided baking tray in base of oven whilst pre-heating, then fill with cold water once bread in.

This creates a steam bath which helps prevent a deep crust from forming.

Then, when cooling down on a rack, drape a clean dry tea towel over it.