Mediterranean Olive Bread


  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina or cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced olives, well drained. This could be mix of black olives, pitted sliced Kalamata olives, stuffed green olives, etc.
  • 6-8 slices pickled jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Drain the olives, slice and put aside
  2. Chop jalapeno into small pieces and add to the olives
  3. If kneading by hand, in a mixing bowl add dry ingredients – bread flour, dry thyme and yeast
  4. Then add wet ingredients – combine water, salt, lemon zest, chopped olives and jalapeno and knead for 5-6 minutes to form a smooth ball
  5. If kneading using bread maker dough cycle, in the bread maker bowl add wet ingredients – water, salt, lemon zest, chopped olives and jalapeno
  6. Then add dry ingredients – bread flour, dry thyme and yeast and knead for 10-15 minutes
  7. Select a large bowl for proofing the dough – dough volume will increase at least twofold
  8. Evenly grease bowl with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, transfer the dough into bowl and coat the dough with another 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  9. Cover bowl and keep in warm area for 4-5 hours. If using yogurt maker to keep the dough warm, place something between bottom of bowl and heated yogurt maker surface to avoid overheating base of bowl
  10. Once dough has doubled in size, on flat countertop, sprinkle 1 tbsp semolina / cornmeal, and gently roll the dough in it
  11. Place dough back in bowl, cover with moist cloth and let it rest for another 30 minutes
  12. Select a baking bowl with lid, put the bowl and lid in the oven and preheat oven to 450 F
  13. Once oven is ready, carefully take out the heated bowl
  14. Place the dough on parchment paper and place the parchment paper with dough in the heated bowl
  15. Evenly sprinkle the balance 1 tbsp semolina on the dough and make 2 long cuts on the top of the dough
  16. Cover the bowl with its lid and put it to bake in the oven
  17. Bake covered for 30 minutes
  18. Remove the lid and bake for another 25-30 minutes till the crust is lightly brown
  19. Test with a skewer that bread is fully baked
  20. Remove from oven and let loaf cool on cooking rack for an hour or so before cutting and enjoying it with your favorite soup or stew

Serves: 4-6


Inspiration sources:

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