- 190 g plain flour
- 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 125 ml water
- sunflower oil or melted lard
- ½ tsp black onion seeds (see Note)
Allow 2 hours for the initial rise and 45 minutes for the proving stage.
Put the flour in a large bowl, add the dried yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other. Make a well in the centre, pour in 125ml water and mix thoroughly. If it feels stiff, add a little more water to make a sticky dough. Turn onto an oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes until the tackiness has gone and the dough is silky soft and smooth. Form into a ball and put in an oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
Knock the air out of the dough and form it into a domed round.
Sit it on a floured wooden board lined with a piece of baking parchment and cover again with the tea towel. Leave to prove fora further 45 minutes, or until doubled in size again.
Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9, or as hot as it will go, and put a pizza stone or baking sheet in to heat up – it needs to get really hot before you bake the non. Make an indentation in the middle of the bread by pressing with the heel of your hand, leaving a doughnut-shaped ring around the edge. Pierce a pattern in the middle using a non bread stamp or the tines of a fork. Brush the top with oil or lard and sprinkle over the onion seeds. Trim the excess parchment from the sides of the bread.
Put a handful of ice cubes on the floor of the oven – these will create steam. Use the board to lift the bread to the oven and carefully slide it (still on the baking parchment) onto the preheated stone or tray. Bake for 15 minutes. The top should be golden and the loaf sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Black onion seeds are also known as kalonji or nigella seeds.