I have told you many times I could easily make a meal out of nothing but bread and be a very happy camper. I LOVE breads of all kinds. I love making breads too. I find it very relaxing to work with and knead the dough. My most recent bread making experience was this “crusty cob” bread. It is actually like a very crusty sourdough, made with only five ingredients.
A crusty cob bread is a very old bread with its roots coming from England during the medieval times. It was known as bottom bread because it was cooked at the bottom of the stone ovens. A cob bread is known as a round loaf of bread in England and in all the British colonies. Today, these cob breads are made with both white and wheat flours, but traditionally, they were made with wheat flour.
Crusty Cob Bread
4 cups of flour + extra for dusting
1 TBSP salt
1 oz or 2 TBSP dry active yeast
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 1/4 cups warm water
Mix the flour, salt, yeast and butter together. Then add most of the water and mix it in to the mixture. Mix until the dough starts to form.
Add the rest of the water and combine thoroughly to make your dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough forms into a ball.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it and let it rise for 2 hours. I like to oil my bowl so the dough does not stick to it.
After the dough has risen for the first rise, reshape it back into a ball and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover it once again. and let it rise again for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 425* F or 220* C.
With a sharp, serrated knife, score the top of the bread. This helps release the gasses from the bread while baking. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the bread. The flour on top prevents the dough from sticking to any surfaces while rising.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the bread is golden and hollow when tapping on it from the bottom.
This bread is best served when hot with soft, creamy butter smeared on top. YUM! I could easily live on bread and butter. Marie Antoinette may have said “let them eat cake”, but I say let them eat bread.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.