Basil, Chilli and Lemon Loaf

Basil, Chilli and Lemon Loaf

The freshness of the basil, zingy sharpness of the lemon and the spicy chilli in this recipe make for a deliciously different bread experience. This loaf would make the perfect base for a toasted cheese sandwich.

This recipe makes a medium sized loaf.

Icon_cookingtime_grey Created with Sketch. 2 hours
Icon_apron_grey Created with Sketch. Medium
Icon_cloche_grey Created with Sketch. Serves 4-6
Basil, Chilli and Lemon Loaf


  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400ml milk
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more for greasing 
 For the decoration (optional):
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil

How to make

  1. Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
  2. Add the salt, oil, dried basil, chilli, lemon zest and milk and combine until the mixture forms a dough (you may need to add more milk if it feels a little dry).
  3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until it feels soft but not sticky.
  4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. When the loaf has risen, shape it into a ball and place it onto a lined baking tray.
  6. Cover the baking tray with a tea towel and leave to rise again, for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
  8. When the loaf has risen, take a few fresh basil leaves and press them into the dough, for a little decoration.
  9. Brush some oil over the basil, to help it stick, and then bake the loaf for around 25 minutes, or until the crust has turned a nice golden brown and the bottom makes a hollow sound when tapped.
  10. Leave the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack, before tucking in.

Little tip: Different flours will absorb different amounts of liquid, so I would add ¾ of the suggested liquid to the mixture at first and then if the dough feels a little dry, you can always add some more.

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