- 500g white bread mix
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 3tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 20g plain flour, for dusting
Put the bread mix in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the oil, fennel seed (if using) and 350ml lukewarm water. Mix with a wooden spoon to create a soft, sticky dough.
Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 mins until elastic (see Top Tip). Return to the bowl, cover with a damp, clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 mins.
Dust a baking tray with the flour. Put the dough on the tray and press into a flat, oval shape. Cut a thin, vertical hole out of the middle, then 4 diagonal cuts either side, to create a leaf pattern. Pull at both ends to stretch the dough and emphasise the holes.
Cover with a damp clean tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8.
Uncover the loaf and bake for 15-20 mins until golden, risen and hollow-sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.