This recipe is adapted from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course
550g strong white flour (at room temperature) plus a little extra
1 level dessertspoon fine salt
¾ teaspoon easy bake yeast
350ml hand-hot water
1 egg, beaten
2 level tablespoons poppy seeds
Equipment: You will need a large baking sheet very well buttered and one or two large polythene bags, greased on the inside with a few drops of oil.
Begin by measuring the flour; salt and yeast into a bowl, using a spatula mix everything together thoroughly. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the water. Now mix to a dough, starting off with the spatula and using your hands in the final stages of mixing, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits. Continue to mix and press the dough in the bowl for about 1 minute so that the dough is evenly mixed (it will feel little sticky but that’s fine) then put the bowl of dough into a large polythene bag and close it with a clip.
Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about 2 hours at room temperature.
After that, punch out all the air, then knead briefly for minute. Next divide the dough into 12 sections. Roll each piece out into a long roll (about 20cm long), and literally tie each roll into a knot.
Place each roll on a greased baking sheet. Now pop the baking sheet and rolls into an oiled polythene bag, (you may need two overlapping bags) and leave them to prove until puffy and risen again – about an hour at room temperature.
Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.
Remove the bag and brush the rolls with beaten egg, then sprinkle the rolls with the poppy seeds, and bake for about 20-25 minutes.