- 25g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 500g Asda Strong White Bread Flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 sachet Asda Easy Bake Yeast
- 2 level tsp caster sugar
- 1 level tsp salt
- Sunflower oil, for greasing
- 1 medium egg
- Poppy seeds, to decorate
Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, sugar and salt, and stir to mix together.
Measure out 325ml lukewarm water. The water should not be hot - if it's too warm, it will destroy the yeast.
Add the water to the flour mixture all at once, and mix with a spoon to make a soft, elastic dough. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little extra flour.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. To do this, put the heel of your hand on top of the dough and push it down firmly away from you. Gather the dough back together, give it a quarter turn, and push down again. Repeat for 10 minutes.
If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can use this to knead the dough for 5 minutes. The kneading process helps to develop the gluten, which gives the dough a good consistency - it should feel smooth and elastic by the time you're finished.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place until it doubles in size - this is known as 'proving'.
You can skip Step 4 and go straight on to shaping your loaf if you want to save time, as this recipe uses easy bake yeast. However, allowing your dough to prove will give it a finer texture.
Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a floured surface. Flatten it with your hand, then knead it again for 1-2 minutes. Shape into an oblong bloomer loaf and put on a lightly floured baking tray. Make cuts across the top with a sharp knife. Cover with lightly greased cling film and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size again.
Beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Brush over the loaf, then sprinkle on the poppy seeds. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 for 25-35 minutes or until the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.