450g strong white flour 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp white sugar 15g fresh yeast or 2 tsp easyblend dried yeast 200ml warm water 2 eggs, beaten 75g butter, melted and cooled
for the glaze and topping 2tsp egg reserved from the 2 used above 2 tsp water poppy seeds
grease a baking sheet sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, then add the sugr, mix and make a well in the centre. add the yeast, add the warm water and most of the beaten egg (see glaze ingredients above) gradually to make a soft dough, adding the butter as you go,
turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. return to bowl, cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size - about an hour.
knock back and knead again for a few mins.
for 1 large loaf divide the dough into 4 pieces, rolling them into 4 ropes about 45cm long. line them up and join them at one end. plait. tuck the ends well under.
lift onto prepared baking sheet, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise again for 30 mins. preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
mix the reserved egg with the water and brush over loaf. sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake for 30-40mins. cool on a wire rack.