• This is the “parent” dough that you can use to make all but one of the other recipes. Basic bread dough is something every cook should know how to make. Adding fine ground semolina flour gives a nice colour, flavour and texture.

    Basic bread dough

    Serves: Makes 2 loaves
    Cooking Time: 30 mins + extra for rising


    • 200g fine ground semolina flour
    • 800g bread flour
    • 5ml sea salt
    • 650ml lukewarm water
    • 2 x 7g sachets of yeast
    • 15ml sugar



    Pile the flours onto a clean surface, sprinkle the salt over and make a well in the centre. Pour half your water into the well, then add your yeast and sugar, and stir with a fork. Wait for a few minutes until the yeast starts to froth and then gradually mix the flour into the water until you have a stodgy porridge consistency. Add the rest of the water, mix it into the porridge-like mixture, then work in the rest of the flour and knead until you have a smooth springy dough.


    Flour the top of your dough, put it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to prove until doubled in size in a warm draught-free place, about 30 minutes. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out of it for 30 seconds by bashing it and kneading it. Now it’s ready to be shaped and/or flavoured before proving for the second time and then baking.


    To make a basic tin loaf, heat the oven to 230°C. Split the dough in half and mould into two rugby ball shapes big enough to fill your loaf tins about two-thirds of the way up to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove again somewhere warm for about 20 minutes. Make two diagonal marks in the top of each loaf with a sharp knife and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, depending on the size of your tin. You know when the bread is cooked by tipping it out of the tin and tapping on the bottom with your fingers. If it sounds hollow, you’re in business! If not, return to the oven for a little longer before checking again. Let the bread cool completely on a baking rack before slicing.