90 mlolive oil1onion, finely chopped¼fennel bulb, finely chopped2 tspfennel seeds, plus extra for dusting480 gm (3¼ cups)bread flour, plus extra for dusting12 gmdried yeast (about 1½ sachets)2 tspcaster sugarFor brushing:milk
Heat 60ml oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add onion and fennel, sauté until very tender (6-8 minutes), stir through fennel seeds, cook until fragrant (1 minute), remove from heat, season to taste and cool.
Combine flour, yeast, sugar, fennel mixture and 1½ tsp sea salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. With motor running, add 250ml lukewarm water and remaining oil, knead until smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and rest in a warm place until doubled in size (30-45 minutes).
Preheat oven to 180C. Knock back dough, divide in half and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 35cm-long cylinder. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, stand until risen (15-20 minutes), brush with milk and scatter with extra flour, fennel seeds and salt. Bake until golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes), then cool completely. Store in an airtight container until required. Bread is best eaten on day of making.