A centrepiece tear and share bread that’s packed with sunny Mediterranean flavours. Paul Hollywood famously hacked through its face with a sharp knife… then praised the unusual combination of orange and oregano.
800g strong white bread flour
16g dried yeast
600ml cool water
Zest of half an organic orange
a handful of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
20g poppy seeds
11 or 12 semi-dried cherry tomatoes in olive oil
Olive oil for kneading
Extra flour for dusting and for the poppy seed paste
Put the flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add in enough water to form a soft dough.
Work in the orange zest and chopped herbs, then tip out onto an oiled surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Put the dough back into the cleaned, freshly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rise for about an hour.
Knock it back, and then stretch to form a rough oval on a large baking sheet.
Put a small oval bowl upturned in the centre (this will be the size of the face - I used a Sophie Conran cereal bowl).
Measure intervals of about 4cms around the bowl and cut the visible dough into 11 or 12 strands and twist and shape these to form the sun’s rays.
Push a semi-dried tomato into each ray, then leave to prove for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 210˚C.
Mix the poppy seeds with flour and water to form a paste and put in a piping bag.
Flour the sun’s rays, and then remove the oval bowl.
Cut two small circles of baking parchment and place these on the sun’s face to form cheeks. Lightly flour the sun’s face and then carefully remove the paper cheeks.
Slash the rays using a sharp knife.
Pipe features on the face of the sun, then bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped underneath.