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Holgate Windmill ‘Slow’ Cottage Loaf


This loaf is made in two stages beginning with a ‘pre-ferment’ which is made the evening before. The longer rising period helps the loaf to develop more flavour and reduces the amount of yeast that needs to be added.

Ingredients – All available from Costello’s Good Food Shop

300g Holgate Windmill wholemeal flour
200g strong white bread flour
½ teaspoon fast action dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
325ml lukewarm water
25g butter


Stage 1: To make the pre-ferment put 150g of the wholemeal flour and 100g of the strong white flour into a baking bowl together with all of the yeast and 250ml of the water. Mix everything together using your hand or a metal spoon until it forms a thick, sticky, lump-free mixture.  Cover with either a damp cloth or cling film and leave to rise overnight (approximately 12 hours).

Stage 2: Pour the remaining 75ml of water into the pre-ferment (which should by now look ‘bubbly’) and mix it until you have a smooth batter. Then slowly work in the remaining 250g flour with the salt and the butter to make a soft dough. Flour the work surface, turn out the dough and knead it for 10 minutes or until it is stretchy and pliable. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or place it in a tightly sealed plastic bag for around 2 to 3 hours until it has doubled in size.

Stage 3: Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Take the dough out of the bowl, knock back the dough by punching it down with your knuckles to deflate it and knead it gently for one minute. Shape the dough into a ball, and place it on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet. Cover with an upended baking bowl and leave to prove for 1 to 2 hours. (If it leaves a slight imprint when you press your fingers into it then it is ready for baking).

Stage 4: Slash the top with a knife and bake it in a hot oven (250C) for around 30 minutes. To test if the loaf is done rap the base of the loaf gently with your knuckles – it should give a hollow sound. Take the loaf out of the oven and leave to cool.

Enjoy toasted with your choice of Rosebud preserves – apricot and vanilla is a favourite.  Or, serve with one (or more!) of our delicious cheeses, some olives  and maybe a cheeky glass of vino…


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