There is no better smell than a fresh loaf of bread straight out of the oven. A cob loaf is an especially wonderful thing because it has so many uses. Slice it up and serve it buttered with a hot bowl of soup, turn it into a cob loaf dip or use it for sandwiches.
Ingredients 500 g plain flour
7 g dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Add the lukewarm water to a measuring jug and sprinkle the dried yeast on the surface. Let sit for 5 minutes. The warm water should activate the yeast and after 5 minutes should be slightly frothy.
The yeast is starting to foam around the edges.
In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pour in the yeast and water and stir with a spoon to combine.
Once combined, knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky to knead, knead in additional flour until it is manageable.
Lightly grease a large bowl (I always use the same one I mixed the dough in) and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and place in a warm but not hot area and let rise until the dough has doubled in size. This may take 45 to 90 minutes depending on the temperature.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and remove from the bowl and knead again for 3 more minutes.
Shape the dough into one large round cob loaf shape and place on a greased baking tray. Cover and let sit in a warm place for a further 30 minutes to rise again.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Bake for approx 30 minutes. You will know when your bread is done because it will turn golden and when you knock on the base of the loaf it will sound hollow.
Cool on a wire rack, then serve.
You can serve this bread straight from the oven but hot bread tends to tear when being sliced and buttered. It is best served warm or cold.