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Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir through the yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle and gradually pour in the water. Swiftly mix together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the bread for 8-10 mins or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, then put the dough in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, tip it onto a worktop and knead it three times. Shape the dough into an oval as best you can. Lightly flour a baking sheet and sit the loaf on it. Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave for a further 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size again.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Whisk together all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl until you get a spreadable paste, adding more water and/or flour if necessary, then set aside to rest for 5 mins. Gently spread the mixture over the loaf with a palette knife. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 mins. Once cooked, the loaf should sound hollow when the base is tapped and should feel light for its size. Leave to cool completely before cutting into slices.