A delicious bread - which gets its name from the semolina topping which makes a pattern on the top of the loaf as it rises
- 500g (1lb) strong plain white flour
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 level tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp semolina
Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the yeast and salt. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to 300ml (½ pint) warm water, then add to the flour. Mix to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 5 – 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into an oval and place it on the buttered baking sheet.
Mix the semolina and the rest of the olive oil into a thick paste, then spread this over the top and sides of the loaf, either using a small palette knife or a pastry brush. Cover the loaf with a sheet of oiled cling film and leave it in a warm place for 40 – 60 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Set the oven to 220°C/ Gas Mark 7.
Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Remove the loaf from the oven and slide it on to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold, with butter, if you like.
Top tip for making Leopard loaf
Take care not to rub the topping off when slicing the loaf.