Simple Cob Loaf

400gWholemeal white bread flour
100gRye flour
350gRoom temperature water
40gFresh yeast

Dissolve the yeast in the water.

In a large bowl, combine the two flours and the salt. Add the liquid and mix everything together.

Get the dough out of the bowl, and knead it on a clean table for 10-12 minutes. Do not add any flour at this point. Keep a dough scraper handy, and use it to have a tidy up, scraping the dough pack together, every once in a while. Shape the dough into a ball, and place it back into the bowl. Dust with a little flour, cover with a clean cloth, and rest for 60-90 minutes

When your dough has rested and puffed up nicely, dust the table with a little flour, use your scraper to loosen the dough from the bowl, and turn it out onto the table upside down. Press all over with your fingertips to flatten and de-gas slightly. Shape up your dough into a tight ball

Place your beautifully shaped loaf onto a parchment lined tray, cover with a cloth, and allow to rest and prove up for 45-60 minutes. At some point during this time, place a deep roasting tray in the bottom of your oven and preheat to 220°C Fan/Gas Mark 8

When your loaf has risen nicely and is delicate to the touch, boil half a kettle of water. Slash the surface of the dough with a grignette, and slide into the oven. Pull the hot roasting tray out slightly and pour in the water from the kettle, and BE CAREFUL. You'll need a couple of centimetres of water in the tray. Shut the door quick to keep the steam in

Bake for 15 minutes, then, turn the oven down to 200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7 and bake for a further 25 minutes. Tap the base of the loaf and if you hear that classic hollow sound it's done! If it is a dull thud, keep on baking for another 10 minutes or so before checking again. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack