500g strong plain white flour
10g fast action yeast
Pinch of sugar
290-300ml warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small bunch basil, roughly torn or chopped
90g sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
50g Parmesan cheese, grated (or another hard strong cheese)
- Sift the flour with salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and the olive oil. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough back into the washed and slightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size and soft and pillowy to the touch (about 1 hour).
- Once the dough has risen turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough into a rectangle about 45cm long and 30cm wide.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes, basil and Parmesan over the dough and roll it up like a Swiss roll, make sure it is sealed. Cut the dough ends off the roll, about 1 1/2 cm on each side. Place the rolled dough on a large lightly floured baking sheet and using a large sharp knife cut the rolled dough almost in half lengthways leaving one end with a small join to help with twisting the dough.
- Twist the lengths to form a rope shape, looping one piece over the other. Then join the ends tucking one underneath the other to form a Couronne/crown shape and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6.
- When you gently press your finger in the side the indentation remains, then it is ready to bake. Brush with a little oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. If the base still seems doughy or undercooked, place directly into the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes.