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Old-Fashioned Cob Loaf Recipe

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Make Paul Hollywood’s Cob Loaf recipe for a taste of a good old-fashioned white bread loaf. Soft and tender inside, with a nice hearty crunch on the outside.

Cob Loaf

This is Paul Hollywood’s recipe with American Style Measurements for anyone who needs a standard cups and measuring spoons recipe rather than weights.

How to Make Paul Hollywood’s Cob Loaf Recipe Without a Scale

Remember I try to convert British Recipes to American measurements so we can ALL bake-along with the GBBO.

I do know that weighing ingredients is seen as the “better or best” way to measure ingredients. Especially for bread recipes where too much flour can throw you off. But sometimes we don’t have access to the scales we need for the recipes we love.

Cob Loaf

And that’s where THIS recipe comes in. I carefully measure ingredients multiple times to make sure I’ve got the closest measurements I can. I then compare it to industry standards to double-check my numbers. Then I recipe test several times to give you the most accurate measured recipe I can.

When you read recipes like this you’ll often come across weird or strange measurements like 1/2 cup with a Tablespoon removed or 13 Tablespoons. That’s because sometimes weights and measurements just don’t line up exactly.

It also means that we’re working hard to make sure whoever is creating this recipe gets the most accurate measures. It may not look pretty or make sense but it actually is as close as we can make it.

Cob Loaf

A Note on Correctly Measuring Flour

Do remember to sift your flour, or stir it with a whisk, or run it through a sieve before you measure it. You want it soft and fluffy not packed down and clumped up.

Additionally, you don’t want to bang your measure cup on the counter to level it, you’ll add way more flour than you need. Simply use a spoon to scoop flour into the cup up and over the top of the cup and then use a flat edge to level it off.

Cob Loaf
GBBO Bread Recipe

What to Serve With a Cob Loaf

Serve your cob loaf with a steaming bowl of soup or stew for maximum enjoyment. Or actually, better yet serve hot slices with cold butter melting into them.

creamy tortellini soup recipe

Love Paul Hollywood’s Bread?

If you Love Paul Hollywood’s Bread here are a few more of my Favorite Recipes:

Can I Make Bread with All-Purpose Flour?

Yes, you can absolutely make bread even IF you don’t have bread flour. Bread flour has wheat that has a higher gluten content so it’s a little more structurally sound. If you DON’T have bread flour it’s going to be just fine. I test all my recipes with All-Purpose Flour (AP Flour) to make sure they will work for you.

As a mom of teen boys I know buying bread flour in bulk can be hard to do, whether its availability OR price that makes it hard. So I make sure that if anyone needs (KNEADS) to use AP flour, they’ll be just fine to do so.

You can ALSO make your own bread flour out of AP flour. Simply measure out your flour, for every cup remove 1.5 teaspoons of flour and add in 1.5 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten.

GBBO Paul Hollywood Bread and butter
Yield: 1 Loaf

Cob Loaf Recipe

Cob Loaf Recipe

This perfectly crispy crusty loaf is so easy to make.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 cups flour- 2 TBSP, AP or Bread Flour work just fine
  • 4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 TBSP soft butter
  • 1 cup+1 Tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tsp oil


  1. put the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer
  2. stir them together
  3. drop in the butter
  4. add the warm water and stir to combine
  5. once it comes to together as a ball of dough drizzle the oil around the edge of the bowl and let the machine knead the dough for 1-2 minutes or until a soft dough is formed
  6. oil a bowl, plop the dough in, cover, and let rise until doubled in size
  7. gently punch down the dough by turning the edges over on itself until a small smooth ball is created
  8. remove from the bowl, turning it so the bottom is now on top, continue to work the dough to the underside until a smooth round loaf is achieved if you feel it's too tall gently press down on it with your full hand until you've spread the loaf out a bit
  9. lay it on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  10. use a pastry brush to brush the dough lightly with warm water read my notes below for the other method used to create a crispy crust
  11. cover the loaf and let it rise again for one hour until it's doubled
  12. pre-heat the oven to 420˚
  13. sprinkle extra flour over the top of the bread and rub it in
  14. use a sharp razor blade or filet knife to cut a crisscross or diamond pattern on top of the bread
  15. slide the loaf in and bake for 30 minutes or until it's browned, smells heavenly and sounds like a drum when you thump it


To achieve a crispy crust you can put an empty roasting pan in the oven when you preheat it and throw in water once you've put the loaf into bake--this can warp a roasting pan be aware of
My new favorite way to achieve a crusty loaf is to brush it with water for the second rise warm water mixed with the warm environment of an inverted bowl makes for a crispy crust

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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