Cottage loaf

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Cottage loaf
Cottage loaf 2.jpg
A small cottage loaf baked in a traditional bakery in Rochester, Kent
Type Bread
Place of origin England
Cookbook: Cottage loaf  Media: Cottage loaf

Cottage loaves are a traditional type of bread originating in England.

A cottage loaf is characterised by its shape, which is essentially that of two round loaves, one on top of the other, with the upper one being rather smaller: the shape is similar to that of the French brioche and the pain chapeau of Finistère.[1]

The origins of the name and shape are unknown but possibly extend back hundreds of years.[2] Elizabeth David, who described the cottage loaf in her English Bread and Yeast Cookery, surmised that the shape may have arisen as a way of saving 'floor space' in old-fashioned bread ovens.[1] The name, however, did not first appear in writing until the mid 19th century.[3] It was formerly possible to find an oblong version, known as a "cottage brick", and common in the London area.[3]

Cottage loaves, while formerly common, are now rarely found in bakeries, as they are relatively time-consuming and difficult to make, and in common with other round loaves are less convenient for slicing.

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  1. ^ a b Davidson, A. The Oxford companion to food, OUP, 2006, p.99
  2. ^ Cauvain, Stanley P.; Linda S. Young (2001). Baking problems solved. CRC Press. p. 270. ISBN 0-8493-1221-3. 
  3. ^ a b Ayto, J. The glutton's glossary: a dictionary of food and drink terms, Routledge, 1990, p.80

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