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Fennel Bread

recipe from abbylidiastephanie.blogspot.com

Fennel Bread
adapted from
Stephanie's Fennel Seed Breadsticks, pg 438
makes 2 small loaves

tiny pinch saffron
1 cup warm water
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
250g plain flour
125g semolina flour
2 tsp fennel seeds

Add yeast to warm water along with the fennel and allow yeast to sponge for about 10 minutes. Mix flours, salt and fennel seeds together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a dough hook, add yeast sponge to dry ingredients with the motor running on low speed. Mix for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Turn the dough out onto bench and knead for a few minutes more. Put dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.

Gently knock back the dough and divide in half. Roll each piece into a stick and place in a breadstick tin or on a tray dusted with semolina. Allow to rise, covered with a tea towel until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220°C. Transfer tray to oven and spray inside of oven and top of dough with a fine mist of water. Reduce oven temp to 200°C and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and the tops are nice and crusty.

Allow to cool before serving.