Olive Bread, uncomplicated and surprisingly simple to make; served with olive oil and a well-aged balsamic vinegar complements a great meal, but is sinfully wonderful all by itself. Why is the idea of baking bread, like pastry considered to be a complicated and time consuming task when it’s really quite simple? Modern day bread machines have certainly made it easy, but even if by hand, making bread is simple.I too, thought bread making was intimidating and complicated, and then I tried it. The reactions were flattering and well worth the time. A lovely recipe for olive bread given to me by my friend Tracy Bile, who in a seemingly effortless way takes the time to make everything extraordinary!
Recipe & Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Ross Cornish

Recipe & Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Ross Cornish

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


Bread dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 4 to 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 cups regular flour
  • 1 cup black cured olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water


Warm a mixing bowl by running hot water through it. Place 1/4 cup warm water and yeast into bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups tepid water. Add flour, herbs, and salt. Knead by hand on floured board for 5 minutes, then add olives and knead again to incorporate. Tuck the dough to form smooth ball. Place dough in large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size. 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Turn dough onto board and cut into 3 parts. Roll each into tight little ball. Tuck ball under and under until tight. Place each ball onto parchment-lined baking sheet, dusted with corn meal. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size again. Cut slits onto tops and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Open oven door during baking and mist with water at 5 and 10 minute intervals to create steam as bread bakes. Remove and cool. Serve with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.