In a small bowl mix the yeast, ¼ of the warm water and the sugar. Allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy.
In a stand mixer bowl combine the yeast mixture with remaining warm water, flour, bread improver (if using), olive oil, oregano, finely chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attached (or you can mix by hand), knead on low for 10 minutes until smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. If you are using a stand mixer the dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl. If it seems very sticky add a little extra flour one teaspoon at a time.
Oil a large bowl and scrape the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
While the dough rises, heat oil in a pan and fry onion until just caramelized. Allow to cool before using.
Prepare a large flat baking tray by lining with baking paper.
Dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Roll into an oblong shape about 30cm x 40cm.
Spread pizza sauce evenly over the dough then evenly scatter mozzarella, prosciutto/salami, black olives, caramelised onion, basil and grated parmesan.
Roll the dough starting from the long side into a log. Pinch edges to seal. Place on baking paper lined tray, seam side down.
Lightly oil a sharp knife. Start a 1inch/2cm from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center 1inch/2cm deep, to within 1inch/2cm of the other end, to reveal the filling and layers.
Keeping the cut side up, carefully twist the log into an “S” shape then tuck the ends under to form a “figure 8”.
Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow rising for 45 minutes.
While the dough is rising preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
When ready, brush with egg wash if desired and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Best served warm. Cut into slices with the Global Ikasu Bread Knife.
I like to use a combination of prosciutto and salami. You can also use ham or pepperoni.