Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


A Menu Fit For a King: King’s Crown Loaf


500g strong plain white flour
10g salt
10g fast action yeast
Pinch of sugar
290-300ml warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small bunch basil, roughly torn or chopped
90g sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
50g Parmesan cheese, grated (or another hard strong cheese)


  1. Sift the flour with salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and the olive oil. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Put the dough back into the washed and slightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size and soft and pillowy to the touch (about 1 hour).
  4. Once the dough has risen turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough into a rectangle about 45cm long and 30cm wide.
  5. Sprinkle the tomatoes, basil and Parmesan over the dough and roll it up like a Swiss roll, make sure it is sealed. Cut the dough ends off the roll, about 1 1/2 cm on each side. Place the rolled dough on a large lightly floured baking sheet and using a large sharp knife cut the rolled dough almost in half lengthways leaving one end with a small join to help with twisting the dough.
  6. Twist the lengths to form a rope shape, looping one piece over the other. Then join the ends tucking one underneath the other to form a Couronne/crown shape and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6.
  8. When you gently press your finger in the side the indentation remains, then it is ready to bake. Brush with a little oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. If the base still seems doughy or undercooked, place directly into the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes.