In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Sprinkle over the sugar and the easy-blend yeast.Add the olive oil to the water. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in most of the water and olive oil mixture. Retain a bit of the liquid; you may need to add…
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Sprinkle over the sugar and the easy-blend yeast.
Add the olive oil to the water. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in most of the water and olive oil mixture. Retain a bit of the liquid; you may need to add more later to get the right consistency.
Stir with a wooden spoon and bring together to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for approximately one hour to rise, until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, place it on a clean work surface and, with floured hands, knead it again to ‘knock it back’. Knead for about five minutes until smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll to form three even ‘sausage’ shapes.
Plait the three dough ‘sausages’ together to form a large loaf and place onto a lightly floured baking tray.
Preheat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 7.
Cover the loaf and return to a warm place until it has risen to about one-and-a-half times its size. This will take between ten and 30 minutes.
Glaze the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle the poppy seeds on top.
Bake the loaf in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and bake for a further 30 minutes.
The loaf is cooked when it is risen and golden and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.