1. Mix the sugar, yeast and warm water in a small bowl. Leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the yeast becomes frothy.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt, flour and yeast mixture. Add a little extra water if needed to bring the dough together. Turn the dough out onto a flat dusted surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. After kneading you should be able to stretch the dough to a foot in length without it breaking.
3. Transfer the kneaded dough back into the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. In this time the dough should double in volume.
4. Knock back and knead vigorously to remove all excess air. Also add in your choice of masalas at this stage.
5. Then shape to form a thin long loaf. You can make it as thin and long as you like. Make a few diagonal slits along the top surface of the shaped dough and leave it to prove till it doubles in size.
6. Just before baking, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some poppy seeds on the dough.
7. Bake at 200°c for 18-20 minutes.
8. Allow to cool before slicing.
For a crusty baguette, create a humid baking atmosphere inside the oven by spraying water into the oven before putting the loaves in for baking. Spray againtwice in 5 minute intervals and quickly close the oven door. For better results, use the Bakestone accessory from Siemens.