1. In a bowl, sprinkle yeast on top of warm water (110 degrees). When yeast has dissolved and starts to form bubbles, add sugar, salt and oil. Mix well.
2. Using an electric mixer or food processor on low speed, mix in the 4 cups of bread flour. As the ingredients combine, the dough should become soft. If it is sticky, add a little more flour.
3. Knead dough at medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
4. Remove dough from machine and knead by hand for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clear plastic wrap or clean towel. Set bowl in a warm place and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 25 to 35 minutes.
6. Mix kosher salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.
7. When the dough has risen, separate into 4 equal pieces.
8. Sprinkle your work surface with the salt-seed mixture.
9. Form each dough piece into a long loaf and roll through the salt-seed mixture to lightly coat each piece.
10. Place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With kitchen scissors, cut loaves into 5 sections, leaving the sections still attached.
11. Brush loaves completely with Chef Larry's Blessing.
12. Let the loaves rise for 30 minutes before baking. (At this point, they may be refrigerated for up to 8 hours before baking.)
13. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Chef Larry's Blessing:
In a blender, emulsify 1 large clove of garlic and 1 cup of olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons of dried basil, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano and 1/8 teaspoon of salt, then turn blender on and off intermittently to mix thoroughly.
Store covered at room temperature until ready to use. The marinade will keep for about 1 week.