Olive and Herb Bread



by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, How to Make Bread

Olives have always been a big part of my life – my father is Greek and he still salts and cures olives where he lives in Greece. They give a great flavour to bread.


1/4 cup (40 g)green pitted olives or green olives stuffed with pimento
1/4 cup (40 g) black pitted olives
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs, eg: herbes de Provence
2 cups (250 g) white strong/bread flour
3/4 teaspoon (4 g) salt
3/4 teaspoon (2 g) dried/active dry yeast or 3 g fresh yeast
3/4 cup (180 g/180 ml) warm water

Baking sheet lined with parchment paper


Mix the olives with the herbs and set aside.

In one (smaller) mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt together and set aside. This is the dry mixture.

In another (larger) mixing bowl, weigh out the yeast. Add the water and stir until the yeast has dissolved. This is the wet mixture.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.

Mix the mixtures together with a wooden spoon and then your hands until they come together to form a dough.

Cover with the bowl that had the dry mixture in it.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Step 8: After 10 minutes, add the olive mixture to the dough. Now the dough is ready to be kneaded. Leaving it in the bowl, pull a portion of the dough up from the side and press it into the middle. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat this process with another portion of dough. Repeat another 8 times. The whole process should only take about 10 seconds and the dough should start to resist. The olive mixture should be thoroughly incorporated.

Step 9: Cover the bowl again and let stand for 10 minutes.

Repeat Steps 8 and 9 twice, then Step 8 again. Cover the bowl again and let rise for 1 hour.

(A)                   (B)                   (C)                   (D)                   (E)

When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down with your fist to release the air. (A)

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour.

Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and place it on the floured work surface. Gently pull it into a long rectangle. (B)

Fold the left-hand third of the rectangle over toward the right. (C)

Now fold the right-hand third over. (D)

Press down slightly to seal the dough together. You will now have a neat rectangular loaf shape.

Turn the loaf over and place on the prepared baking sheet. Dust with flour. (E)

Cover the loaf and let rise until slightly less than double the size – about 30–45 minutes.

About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 475?F (240?C) Gas 9. Place a roasting pan at the bottom of the oven to preheat. Fill a cup with water and set aside.

When the dough has finished rising, remove the bowl or covering.

Place the loaf in the preheated oven, pour the reserved cupful of water onto the hot roasting pan and lower the oven temperature to 400?F (200?C) Gas 6.

Bake the bread for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

To check if the bread is baked through, tip it upside down and tap the bottom – it should sound hollow.

If it is not ready, return to the oven for a few minutes. If it is ready, set it on a wire rack to cool.


Yield: Makes 1 small loaf