I was first introduced to olive bread in undergrad, visiting a friend and her family at their home in Pennsylvania. Her dad loved tomato sandwiches, so her mum regularly obliged and I got to join in his summer tradition. Their go-to bread was a chewy artisanal loaf made with black olives. Slightly tangy, it made a delicious pairing with summer-ripe tomatoes and basil from their garden.
After that visit I wanted tomato sandwiches every summer – easy enough when I lived in New York. When I moved back home to Nassau though I found the tomatoes were hit and miss. Moreover, I couldn’t find an olive bread, even after a year of searching. What’s a girl to do then but make her own? I found a recipe for a spicy olive bread in Bread Illustrated. It felt so good to pull it together, and the results were delicious. You can see for yourself, and then give it a try. 🙂
Spicy Olive Bread
- 3/4 cup olives patted dry, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/8 cup water (9 oz) room temperature, you might need as much as 1 1/3, which is close to 11 oz
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Prep dough and let rise in greased bowl until doubled, 1 1/2 – 2 hours
- Deflate dough, press into round and shape into a ball.
- Place into greased or parchment lined Dutch oven. Let rise another 30 mins – 1 hr. Preheat oven to 450°.
- Bake covered in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid, reduce temperature to 375° and bake until golden. 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool completely before serving.
Hey Gabrielle – Just wanted to say thanks for your video! I have the same bread book and have baked this twice. As a fairly accomplished baker that’s only been baking bread for a couple of months, I wasn’t sure if my olive bread was coming out correctly. Your video is so helpful. I so appreciate that you show what each step looks like up until the final cut of bread and talk about each process with in such a comforting and chill way. And I love that you aren’t afraid to do something different (such as the slashes) from what the recipe calls for. You handle your results with such grace and embrace the challenge. Thanks again and your gran is adorable!