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.
Take care not to rub the topping off when slicing the loaf.