This is your basic bread dough but the addition of fennel seeds and butter gives it a subtle flavour and soft texture. If you don't have fennel you could use sesame, poppy or cumin.

450 g flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp granulated sugar

10 g active dried yeast

1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed

280 ml warm water

30 g butter, melted

1 egg white

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and 1/2 tsp of fennel. Make a well in the centre and pour in water and butter. Mix until a shaggy dough comes together. Transfer onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. I like to use a timer as I often get distracted or lose momentum.

Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, punch down and knead for about 20 seconds. Shape into an oval and place onto a greased baking tray. Brush the top with a little oil, cover in cling film and leave to rise for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220.

Brush the top of the loaf with egg white and sprinkle with salt and rest of fennel seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best served warm, spread with butter.