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.