For the cornflour wash
100g boiling water.
For the overnight sponge
120g strong white flour
1.5g fresh yeast
For the main dough
600g strong white flour
180g overnight sponge
12g fresh yeast
A coating of sesame seeds (or poppy seeds) to your taste
Make the cornflour wash (ideally the night before and store in fridge)
Add 10g of cold water to 10g of cornflour and mix to a paste. Add 100g boiling water and stir untill thickens. Allow to cool.
Make the overnight sponge
Put the flour, water and yeast and salt into a bowl. Mix until combined, cover with a thick plastic bag and leave on the side overnight.
For the main dough
Put the yeast and water in a bowl and mix. Add flour and salt. Combine well until the dough clears the bowl. Knead until the dough starts to become stretchy. Add the overnight sponge. Continue to knead until a smooth dough is obtained. About 10 minutes. Rest for an hour or until at least doubled in size.
Divide the dough into half. Roll each piece into a tight ball and cover with an upturned bowl for 15 mins.
Divide one dough ball into 4. Roll each piece into a sausage approximately 14" long. Lay the strands of dough out on the bench in a crossing pattern (see photos). Take one strand of each corner and place at 90° over its neighbour. Repeat for other 3 corners. Take a strand that has been overlayed and place it in the opposite direction 90° over its neighbour. Repeat for the other three. Lastly continue tucking over and under and tuck ends under dough. See pictures. Place on a baking tray with parchment on it. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Cover loosely with a plastic bag and proof for 50 mins. Brush with cornflour wash and sprinkle with your chosen seeds.
Bake at 230°C for 30-35 minutes or until golden in colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with butter and your choice of filling.