Recipe: Cottage loaf

Hannah Fossett and Miles Aaron
Hannah Fossett and Miles Aaron

The Cooking School’s Breads of the World course is on 21st September, so get some practice in first with this fantastic recipe from Paul Johnson, Chef Tutor at The Cooking School at Dean Clough.

This week we have held a brilliant hands-on masterclass for our chef apprentices where they learnt all about breads, dough and baking.

I asked them to present the recipe that inspired them most, and both Hannah Fossett and Miles Aaron (both 17) chose this recipe for cottage loaf.

It is not only full of cheap, easy and manageable ingredients, but it is full of flavour that could complement any soup or sandwich.

Hannah says: “This is a very simple bread dough recipe that can be adapted to suit different tastes and customer requirements.

“I added a touch of honey and some crushed walnuts to the mix to give the loaf a completely new dimension - it tasted great!”

Hannah is right, this is a base dough so you can be quite adventures with your choice of additional ingredients such as nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.

Miles explains how he adapted the recipe too:

“In the masterclass we made the dough into mini cottage loafs by weighing out 150g of dough, and then separating 50g.

“We then rolled both pieces into balls and placed one on top of the other.

With the handle of a wooden spoon we plunged a hole right down the middle for the classic cottage loaf look, but on an individual scale.”

If, like Miles, you want to change the shape, just remember it may change the overall baking time. Enjoy!

Cottage Loaf made with fresh yeast

(Makes 1 large cottage loaf)


200g strong plain white flour and 250g granary flour

1 level teaspoon salt

1 level teaspoon caster sugar

300ml warm (not hot) water

15g fresh yeast

4 tablespoons olive oil

extra flour for kneading


- mixing bowl

- teaspoon

- measuring jug

- tablespoon

- wooden spoon

- flour dredger

How to make it

1. Place the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl, stir to combine.

2. Crumble the yeast into the warm water and olive oil. Stir well.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid. Mix to a soft dough. If the dough is too wet add a little flour.

4. Knead the dough until it is smooth, springy and ‘silky’ to the touch. It will take about 10-15 minutes.

5. Set the dough aside (covered) in a warm (not hot) place to rise twice its size.

6. ‘Knock back’ the dough and either allow it to rise again or shape it.

7. Allow the shaped bread to rise (prove) and when twice its size bake it in a hot oven (225°C/Gas 7).

What’s on at the Cooking School

September 21 BREADS OF THE WORLD - cook your way through the world’s best breads (£99)

September 28 MADE IN YORKSHIRE - delicious seasonal dishes inspired by our county (£145)

October 5 FOOD & WINE MATCHING – taste your way through a wining and dining journey (£145)

October 22 FAMILY CHEFS’ CLUB – come with your 8-16 year old to cooking together at half term (£55 for 2 people)

October 24 JUNIOR CHEFS’ CLUB – a half term treat for 8-12 year olds who want to learn new skills (£45)