Breadtopia 1


Julia Child said: “How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” Chef Suné Niemand this week shares some bread recipes that will jazz up a piece of dough like you will not believe.

Basic bread dough

630g cake wheat flour
10g instant yeast
10ml salt
10ml sugar
375ml lukewarm water
60ml olive oil

Step by step how to knead bread by hand

Step 1:
Always knead on a floured surface. Press the dough down firmly with the palm of one hand while firmly pushing is away from you in one movement with the other. There should be a pulling action between you and the dough.

Step 2:
As soon as you’ve pushed the dough away, bring it back with your fingertips. Fold the parts you’ve brought back over the dough lying on the surface. Your one hand holds the dough while the other one does the work.

Step 3:
Repeat step 1 and 2 until the dough is elastic and smooth. Form the dough into a ball before placing it in a lightly oiled glass bowl to rise. double in volume, 40/45 minutes in a warm place). Important to cover the dough with cling film.

This is how you work with yeast
Yeast allows the dough to start rising when you’re kneading it, but it’s a living organism and grows only at the right temperature – the same as that of your body, so not too hot. If you get it wrong, you will be kneading in vain. Dip your finger in the water before adding it to the yeast – the water should feel lukewarm.


Use basic bread dough. Oil a large baking sheet well with olive oil. Tip the dough out of the bowl and flatten onto the baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to proof (cover with cling film) for 30/40 minutes in a warm area/place.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the plastic, smear the focaccia dough with pesto, sprinkle with coarse salt and top with thinly sliced potatoes (not necessary to peel the potatoes) or tomatoes, cooked bacon bits and more pesto – bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil, turn the focaccia out and serve hot or warm with fresh rocket or basil.


100g nuts, roasted (pine kernels, peanuts, macadamia, almonds)
25ml garlic, crushed
100ml parmesan, grated
240g fresh basil OR ½ basil and ½ rocket


  1. Blend the first four ingredients together to a fine paste in a food processor.
  2. Add the herbs and continue to blend into a paste.
  3. Store in glass bottles in the refrigerator for up to a month.