450g strong plain white bread flour
7g sachet fast acting dry bread yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
250ml lukewarm water
1 egg (beaten).
1. Preheat oven to 220C (425F / Gas 7).
2. Place flour into large mixing bowl and add yeast, sugar and salt. Perfectionists may use a sieve.
3. Add the oil and water.
4. Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough inside the bowl for approximately 10 minutes until it feels smooth and elastic.
5. Lightly grease a bread tin or bowl with olive oil and cover with greased cling film.
6. Leave in a warm place for an hour and a half - on top of the cooker is ideal.
7. Knock back the risen dough, which should have doubled in size. Knead for a further 5 minutes.
8. Shape the dough into a rectangle / amorphous blob and place in a lightly greased bread tin / heatproof dish.
9. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (approximately 45 minutes).
10. Remove clingfilm, glaze the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the loaf looks golden and sounds hollow when it's tapped on the base.