It’s time for another installment of delicious no-knead bread!
One of my favorite breads to buy fresh from the bakery is olive bread. I’m crazy about olives to begin with so when they’re baked into a fresh, crusty loaf of bread I just can’t resist! I added some dried herbs for extra oomph and used part whole wheat flour to reduce my guilt (because we all know the entire loaf will be devoured in less than a week).
I used dried thyme but feel free to use whatever herbs (fresh or dried) that sound good to you. If you’re not sure what herbs would taste good, eat an olive and then go smell some herbs. Whatever smell mixes well with the taste of the olive in your mouth will probably taste good in the bread. At least that’s how I decided which to use.
I dropped by the olive bar to get my olives so that I wouldn’t have to buy a whole $6 dollar jar. The cool part is that the kalamata olives that I used were marinated in some sort of oil with red pepper so I got a little spicy kick in my bread. That was a pleasant surprise :)
This recipe takes next to no work but it does need to sit around for a while so make it on a day that you’ll be home but busy doing other things.
Olive Herb Bread
Olive Herb Bread
- 1 cup whole wheat flour ($0.16)
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour ($0.33)
- 1 1/3 tsp salt ($0.05)
- 3/4 Tbsp active dry or instant yeast ($0.20)
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives ($1.48)
- 1 tsp dry thyme ($0.05)
- 1 1/4 cups warm water ($0.00)
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal ($0.03)
- In a large pot or bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, yeast, salt, herbs). Stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Slice or roughly chop the olives. Add the olives and warm water to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moistened. If the mixture does not form a cohesive ball of dough (no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl), add more water 2 Tbsp at a time until there are no more dry bits (see photos below).
- Loosely cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for two hours.
- After two hours, sprinkle a little flour on the dough and your hands and form the dough into a smooth ball. Prepare a baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil and a generous sprinkle of cornmeal. Place shaped dough ball on the baking sheet and let rise for 1 to 1.5 hours or until double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. With a very sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes across the dough from one side to the other. Brush the dough with water and then bake for 30 minutes. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Step By Step Photos
Combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, yeas, herbs) in a large pot or bowl. Stir until they’re evenly combined.
Slice or roughly chop the olives.
Add the olives and warm water to the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is combined and moistened.
If it looks like this (some dry flour, not in one solid ball of dough) then you need to add more water. Add a little at a time until it all comes together into one piece.
It should look like this. It’s all stuck together in one piece and it has picked up all of the dry flour and bits off of the bottom of the pot. I ended up having to add an extra 1/4 cup of water but did so only 2 Tbsp at a time. The amount of water you will need depends on how dry your flour and air are.
Loosely cover the dough and let it rest for two hours at room temperature. After two hours it will have expanded and look like the dough in the picture above.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the dough and your hands. Form the dough into a smooth ball. Place the ball on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil and a generous sprinkling of corn meal.
Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (about 1 to 1.5 hours).
Gently make a few slashes across the top of the dough to allow it to expand during cooking. Brush the loaf with water and then bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.
…of course it’s not so bad with just a slather of butter either. ;)
i can’t use gluten flour and have several gluten free flours that are supposed to be one to one. could i substitute one or two for the flours in this recipe?
Unfortunately I’ve never used a glute-free flour, so I don’t know how they perform, but I do know that with breads like this that the gluten matrix is vital to obtaining the correct shape and texture. So I would assume a gluten-free flour wouldn’t work. They usually work better for cakes, muffins, biscuits, and other breads that don’t use gluten for their structure.
I’ve made this bread multiple times now and absolutely love it. For herbs I used dried oregano. My only suggestion would be to increase this to 1 tablespoon, otherwise you won’t be able to taste the herbs at all.
Increasing the amount of olives to 1/2 a cup makes the bread extra delicious, but of course that increases the cost.
Can I use whole wheat pastry flour and regular AP flour?
Love your blog!
I haven’t experimented with WW pastry flour, unfortunately.
I used both because that’s what I had on hand and thought it turned out great! Such a tasty way to use up leftover olives. Thanks!
Hi Beth. I had never made bread before visiting Budget Bytes, and now it has been 3 months since I purchased store bought. Thanks!
Question on the olive loaf; I love using this for sandwiches but it is difficult with the round shape. If I made this in a loaf pan, how (if at all) would I adjust the cooking time/method?
Thanks very much.
I would have to experiment with it to know for sure, but generally when it sounds hollow when you tap on the top and the crust is brown, that means it’s done. If it turns brown but still sounds dense and heavy, you can cover it with foil to slow the Browning on top.
Do you have to cover the bread while its rising for the second time?
I did not, although if you want to use a damp paper towel, that would work. You don’t want to cover it with anything that will stick or be heavy.
I love making olive bread! There are so many different olive varieties to choose from. I have tried Lindsay Olives recently and they are to die for !
I make almost this exact recipe quite often. What I found makes a big difference is making a yeast starter – half the flour into a wet dough (similar amount of water as used in the end recipe), maybe half the yeast, put into the fridge overnight (12-16 hours). It makes a very springy starter and results in great bread texture.
Nice food blog!
I tried this recipe with the slight variation of only using white flour, and I also used a bit of garlic powder, paprika powder, and crushed red pepper. It was slightly wetter than the photos showed, but it turned out perfect after 30 minutes. I brought it to a party and my friends were so impressed. One even asked me what else was in it besides olive, because “one bite was slightly more flavorful than the rest”, so the tiny bit of crushed red pepper did make a positive difference.
I’ve been putting olives in your no-knead bread recipe for months and have been meaning to comment about that. World Market has a lot of olives and sometimes has a coupon for $10 off $30 of merchandise in their weekly ad, so that’s a good opportunity to stock up. Last time I did that, it wound up being five jars of olives and a jar of sundried tomatoes for $22.34 (average $3.72 per jar). If you do go to World Market, though, avoid the store brand because those are marinated in vinegar and gross. The Mezzetta olives are what’s good there. Some of the Mezzetta varieties are marinated in wine, and I use 1/4-1/2 cup of the marinade in place of that much water in the recipe.
One combination that’s good: Use olives stuffed with jalapeno peppers, and then top the bread with some grated cheddar cheese just before putting it in the oven.
Re: whole wheat flour, I sometimes use that, and when I do, I find that it requires more water than the regular white flour to achieve the same dough consistency. Do you find that?
Anyway, cool blog. I also recently brought your Thai Cucumber Salad (July 2009) to a potluck, and it was very well received.
Jessa – yes, you can use any olives that you like :)
Beth, this looks fantastic. Do you think it would work as well with other olive varieties?
Oh I cannot WAIT to make this! Thanks so much for sharing–I always love your tutorials.
Question: is the crust on this bread very hard? Thanks!
that looks amazing, and so easy! I’ve always been afraid of bread, but this looks like something I can handle :)