Simple Olive Oil Dough

This is a really versatile bread dough ideal for pizza bases, flatbreads and bread sticks.  It is also a good starting point for learning to make bread.



Ready In:

2 hrs



Skills covered

Bread making, kneading, yeast, rolling out, baking, dry frying

Olive Oil Dough

By: Chloe Coker

This dough is enriched slightly with olive oil, adding flavor and softening the texture slightly.  Use it to make simple loaves, flatbreads, fougasse, bread sticks and pizza bases.  This recipe will make 6 pizzas, 16 flatbreads or 1 large loaf.


You will need  

500g Strong White Bread Flour (or 50:50 strong white and strong wholemeal flour)
10g (2 tsp) instant yeast
10g (2 tsp) salt
350ml Water (luke warm)
25ml olive oil (2 tbsp)  

  • Place the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Measure out the water and olive oil into a jug. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water and oil. Stir the mixture well, then bring it together with your hands to form a dough.  The dough should be fairly soft.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes by machine, until smooth and springy or try the folded method outlined in our focaccia recipe: tip the dough into an oiled bowl.  Fold the edge of the dough into the centre, turn the bowl a quarter turn, fold the edge in again.  Do a total of 8 folds – this should take you no more than a minute or so. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat the folding process 3 more times.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough has risen, you can make it into pizza bases, flatbreads and bread sticks at this point.

To make pizza:  divide the dough it into 6 balls. Cover and rest for 5 minutes. Take a ball and roll it into a large circle about 3mm thick. Place it on a baking sheet  and top with tomato sauce, cheese and any toppings. Preheat the oven to 200*c and cook the pizza for around 10 minutes until the cheese has turned golden and the base is crisp.


To make flatbreads:  divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out to a thickness of 3mm.  Place a frying pan over a high heat and place in the pan and dry fry for a couple of minutes on each side until they have puffed up and are cooked through.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (you can also cut a garlic clove in half and rub them with garlic or scatter them with chilli flakes or nigella seeds).


To make bread sticks: once risen, roll out the dough into a flat rectangle (about 0.5cm thick), then cut into 1cm wide strips.  Roll the strips into pencil width snakes.  Spread any toppings (such as sea salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, black pepper, chilli flakes, crushed fennel seeds) on a board, then roll the bread sticks in them and place on a floured baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes in the oven at 170*c until golden.  Cool on a rack


This dough also makes a nice simple olive oil bread:  Once the dough has risen, knock it back and shape it into a loaf.  Leave to prove for 40 mins – 1 hr, until it is 1 ½ times the size.  Preheat the oven to 190*c and bake for 30 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped


Tips, Tricks and Teaching Info

Measuring Liquids

If you are measuring liquids remember that 1ml of water/milk/oil weighs 1g so it is easier to weigh your liquids than use a measuring jug

You can make the dough ahead and freeze in balls.  Then just defrost, roll into a circle, top with sauce and bake