Chef's Basic Bread Recipe

With this recipe you can't go wrong. I use it for just about everything, even for making pizza bases.


  • 7 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the middle.
  • Add the water and mix into a dough.
  • You may need to add more flour or you may need to add more water as your go.
  • Knead for about 15 minutes until smooth until it's elastic-like in consistency, but you really have to put some effort into it. (If you press your thumb in the dough, it should spring back.)
  • Rub with olive oil and put in a warm place on a tray covered with a towel to rise until double in size.
  • Set the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  • Shape the dough into whatever shape you want and then cover again to double in size once again.
  • Once it has doubled in size you can put it in the oven and obviously the time will depend on what type of bread you are making.

Pita Bread

I discovered how to make this when I had some leftover dough, which had doubled once, I rolled it out and stuck it in the oven for a few minutes and it came out like pita bread. It's great for dinner parties. You slice them up and people help themselves and it's easy to do.


  • 1x chef's basic bread recipe (see recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic



  • Set the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  • Roll out the dough to 0.5 inches in thickness into circles about 4 inches in diameter.
  • You don't need to let this rise a second time because this bread is best kept thin.
  • Mix the rosemary with the olive oil and chopped garlic and spread this generously on top of the bread with a pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Makes up to 6 small pita breads

Olive Pesto Bread

This is one type of filling, but you can use so many others, like different types of cheeses and herbs, chili, garlic, tomato, or peppers. Just be careful not to use too much moisture or the bread will become too dense.


  • 4 Tbsp superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 7 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • olive pesto
olive pesto bread


  • Beat the eggs with the sugar.
  • Add the butter and set aside.
  • Add the flour, salt and yeast together in a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Add the egg mixture and mix well.
  • Add water a little at a time until the mixture forms a dough.
  • If the dough is too sticky add more flour and if it is crumbly add more water.
  • Knead for 10 minutes until it feels like elastic.
  • Put the dough in a bowl covered with plastric wrap and leave it in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
  • This should take an hour.
  • To shape, roll the dough out flat, spread the olive pesto on top, fold it over and roll it into a sausage shape.
  • Let this rise again until it's double in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Set the oven to 220°C/430°F.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 190°C/375°F.
  • Leave the bread in the oven for another 25 minutes.
  • Test it by tapping on the bottom.
  • If it feels hollow, then it is ready.

Makes 2 loaves

Focaccia with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Feta

Focaccia is an easy bread to make because it's flat and cooks quickly. You can put on whatever you want. Just use your imagination. It's not something that you put loads of things on like a pizza, but just to give some flavor.


  • 1x chef's basic bread recipe (see recipe)
  • 5 leaves basil
  • 4 Tbsp feta
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cherry tomatoes




  • Set the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  • Make the basic bread recipe and let it rise.
  • Roll it out into a round shape, flatten it and make holes at random (not right through!).
  • Now you can start putting in your ingredients.
  • Mix the feta, rosemary, tomatoes and olive oil together in a bowl and then begin stuffing this into the holes.
  • You can add loads of other flavors, such as garlic, sundried tomatoes, blue cheese, or mild chilies.
  • When adding an oil e.g. chili oil then just add a little because If there is too much moisture the top will cook and the inside will be raw.
  • You know when it is done when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow; it usually takes 20 minutes.

Makes 2 focaccias


Toppings for your pizza are endless. I like to try something different like rocket leaves, goat cheese, and mixed veggies. Then again, good old regular cheese and tomato is also a classic.

This pizza works great with the basic recipe that I use for all breads, but you can also use '00 Italian flour, which will give you a nice smooth texture.

Unless you have a pizza oven, it's best to stick the crust in the oven for 5 minutes on the hottest temperature before adding the toppings; otherwise it's not going to cook through.


1x chef's basic bread recipe (see recipe)
toppings for your pizza

  • Just let this rise once, but you can keep this for a long time in the fridge until you are ready to use it. You can also prepare your pizzas ahead of time, but make sure you wrap them up plastic so that they don't dry out.
  • Once you have your dough and it has risen once, you can begin to make your pizzas. Start to roll the dough out to about 0.5 inches thick on a floured surface. Use a knife and a dinner plate to get the shape you are looking for.

Some people use pizza pans, but I just like to put them straight in because the surface of the rack is hot inside the oven and you need to be working with direct heat. You should leave these in for about 5 minutes before you take them out and add the toppings.

Place the pizzas in the oven and grill for about 10 minutes once you have added everything on top.

Makes 3 medium-sized pizzas