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Rachel’s Basic Bread Dough Recipe

A basic bread dough recipe that works for everything - use it to make bread, pizza, rolls, pita bread, flatbread, canapés... we could go on. Be sure to keep this recipe handy! 

And if you'd like to build on the bread basics, please do sign up for one of our baking courses

Rachel's Basic Bread Dough


  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 level tbsp dried yeast
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml warm water  

kneading more dough


  1. Whisk together the yeast, sugar & water, cover with Clingfilm and leave in a warm place until frothy, which takes about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, salt & olive oil together, stir in the frothy yeast mixture & mix by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook to a soft ball consistency,
  3. Turn onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. To knead: use the heel of your hand or hands to gently push the dough away from you. At the same time, use your other hand to rotate the dough towards you, guiding it slowly around in a circle. The dough is ready when it feels really soft and silky. If you poke the dough gently with a finger the imprint should spring back up when the dough is well kneaded.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover in Clingfilm and leave to rise for at least an hour-it should double in size. When the dough has risen, carefully remove it from the bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead, just enough to make the dough smooth and elastic again. At this point you can make the dough into whatever you want: a loaf, rolls, pizza base or a crowd-pleasing canapés. 

Tom and massive dough