Olive bread

Serves Icon
Makes2 Loaves
Time 03 Hours 30 Minutes
  • 330g strong bread flour
  • 13g semolina (coarse)
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 6g fine sea salt
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil – see note
  • 215g water (215ml however weighing water is more accurate)
  • 150g Kalamata olives, pitted (alternatively, use a combination of green and black olives)

How to Make It
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 240°C conventional oven/ 220°C fan-forced (475° Fahrenheit/Gas 9).

Step 2

To work by hand: Place the bread flour and semolina in a mixing bowl. Crumble the yeast over the flour, then using your fingertips, rub together the flour and yeast. Add the salt, olive oil and water, using your hands to mix until well combined and comes away from the bowl. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and work the dough until smooth and elastic. It should come away cleanly from the work surface and takes approximately 10 minutes.

If using a mixer: Combine the flour, semolina, yeast, salt, olive oil and water into a mixer bowl. Mix on the second speed until the dough is smooth and elastic (approximately 5 minutes). Transfer the dough to a clean work surface.

Step 3

Add the olives to the dough and work by hand until the olives are evenly distributed. Fold each edge into the centre to form a ball. Lightly dust the inside of a large, clean bowl with flour. Place the dough inside the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 ½ hours.

Step 4

Generously flour a clean work surface. Turn the dough onto the work surface and divide the dough into 2. Flatten each piece of dough into a rectangle shape.

Step 5

Fold one long side of the dough into the middle, then use the heel of your hand to press the dough down and create a seal. Then fold the other side over the middle, again using the heel of your hand to create a seal. Lastly fold the dough in half lengthways and pinch to seal the edges. Repeat this step with the remaining piece of dough.

Step 6

Place each piece of dough onto a baking tray or stone and sprinkle with white flour. Use a razor blade or sharp knife to make a cut lengthways across the top of each loaf. Cover the loaves with a well-floured tea towel and allow to rest for a further 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Step 7

Place water into a spray bottle. Spray the inside of the oven a few times using the water bottle then quickly place the tray or stone with the olive loaves into the oven. Reduce the heat to 230°C conventional oven/ 210°C fan-forced (446° Fahrenheit/Gas 8) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Olive bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days – buon appetito.

Note: Use a fruity extra virgin olive oil that is good quality.

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