Olive bread – the best bread I’ve ever baked

Olive bread the best bread I've ever made www.clairekcreations.com


There is something about mixing just a couple of ingredients together and getting bread that I will never get sick of. It really is like magic and the smell of freshly baked bread… oh so good! Let me show you how to make one of my favourites, Olive bread – the best bread I’ve ever made.

Olive bread the best bread I've ever made www.clairekcreations.com

Olive bread – the best bread I’ve ever made

I have baked a lot of bread over the years. Most of them have turned out delicious but not quite as good as the really good bakery bread. That is until I discovered Olive bread.

This olive bread was one of the nicest breads I have had.

With a golden, crispy crust and soft fluffy inside, this olive bread is something you must try. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make it and all the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket (although I get my organic flour from The Wholefood Collective).

The first time I made it, I loved it so much I had another go the next day and tried it out as a plain multigrain bread.

It was just as good. Once you master the first one you can vary the fillings and flavours to whatever your heart desires. I think parmesan and herbs is next on the agenda or garlic and rosemary.

To make it as easy as possible for you, I’ve included step-by-step instructions with pics and a little video demo at the end.

How to make olive bread

1 Measure the ingredients

Don’t be put off by the amount of time this dough takes from start to eating it. There’s really only 15 minutes work, the rest is resting time for the dough and well worth it for the mouth-watering final product.

2 Mix together

After you’ve measured it all out, the next step is to mix all the ingredients together. You can do this with your hands, a wooden spoon or a dough hook on an electric mixer. Obviously I used the dough hook as it cuts down the kneading time (yes the olives should be in there too).

3 First knead

Once all the ingredients have come together, turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and elastic. It takes about 10 minutes if you’re doing it all by hand and just a few minutes if you started with the dough hook.

If you have a silicone mat, I recommend using it for this. It makes cleaning up so much easier and you can bake the bread on it as well.

4 Rest

It doesn’t say in the recipe to cover the dough while it rests but I thought it best. Cover it with a large bowl and leave it to rest for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.

5 Knead number two

Here’s what mine looked like after the 45 minutes. Then you need to knock it down and knead it again for 5-10 minutes then cover and rest for another 30 minutes.


6 Shape it

After the 30 minutes rest, that’s it for the hard work. Now, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-floured piece of fabric (I used a tea towel) and leave it until doubled in size. I left mine for 20 minutes. While it’s taking its final rest, place a baking dish of water in the bottom of your oven and pre-heat it to 210C fan-forced.

7 Prep for the oven

Lightly oil the baking tray then sprinkle it with the corn meal (or polenta).

You might also like 30 minute bread.

8 Bake it

Turn the dough out of the cloth onto the tray. Bake the loaf for 15 minutes at 210C then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for a further 30 minutes.

9 Let it cool then eat

Isn’t it beautiful?! Place your olive bread on a wire rack to cool or straight in the bread basket and on to the dinner table. Enjoy!

Make sure you also try my ciabatta.

If you’re more of a visual person, I also have a video showing the steps. Yep I look youthful!

Would you like to get better at making bread? Grab a copy of my FREE PDF– 10 Bread Baking Mistakes and How to Fix/Avoid them. Click here to download.

4.8 from 9 reviews
Olive bread - the best bread I've ever baked
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I used 1tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I used 2 tsp)
  • ½ cup chopped black olives
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¼ cups warm water (110F / 45C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal (polenta)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water. You can do this using a dough hook on a stand mixer.
  2. Turn out dough onto a floured board and knead it until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Set it aside to rise for about 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  4. Punch the risen dough down and then knead it again fora 5-10 minutes or until it's smooth.
  5. Cover it again and leave to rise for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  6. Use your hands to shape the dough into a round ball.
  7. Line a large bowl with a lint-free tea towel and coat it generously with flour.
  8. Turn the dough into the tea towel so it is seam-side up.
  9. Dust the top with a bit more flour and then cover it loosely and leave it to double in size again (about 20 minutes).
  10. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven and preheat it to 210C(410F) fan-forced.
  11. Line a baking tray with paper or a silicon baking mat and sprinkle it with polenta.
  12. Gently invert the dough onto the baking tray.
  13. Bake the loaf at 210C(410F) for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 170C(340F) and bake for 30 more minutes, or until it is golden.
  14. Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Olive bread the best bread I've ever made www.clairekcreations.comOlive bread the best bread I've ever made www.clairekcreations.com


  • Lorraine

    Reply Reply September 11, 2018

    Hi, if making this lovely bread with fresh yeast, how much should I use?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply October 1, 2018

      Hi Lorraine. I’m not experienced with fresh yeast but apparently you need to use double the amount. Hope that works! x

  • Lorraine

    Reply Reply August 15, 2017

    Thank you sooooo much for wonderful olive bread. I have just treated myself to a kitchenaid mixer and wondered if I still had to knead the bread again if I mix for 5 mins initially?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply August 19, 2017

      Hi Lorraine. You’re very welcome. You will need to knead it again after the first rise yes but you can put it in the mixer.

  • Rachel

    Reply Reply March 14, 2017

    Great recipe except for sugar quantity in the ingredients which is misleading in terms of tablespoons and teaspoons! I think perhaps 2 tablespoons should read teaspoons. It’s definitely too sweet when you only put 1 tablespoon in. Shall I blame my eyesight or the fact I was reading off my iPhone?
    Lovely texture though and will certainly make again now I’ve figured out the typo.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply March 16, 2017

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you I’m glad you like it! The original recipe had it as 2tbsp but I did put in brackets that I only use 1 tsp. It must be an american recipe. I find their breads very sweet.

      I hope that helps!


  • Deb

    Reply Reply August 29, 2016

    This is my go-to recipe for olive bread! It always turns out perfectly and the whole family loves it. My 2 year old would eat the whole loaf on her own if we let her!

    Thanks for posting the recipe! 😀

    • Claire

      Reply Reply September 7, 2016

      It’s a bit irresistible isn’t it? You’re welcome!

  • Faaiza

    Reply Reply June 15, 2016

    Hi, I’m excited to try this recipe but I’m just confused about the purpose of putting the pan of water in the oven ?? Are you supposed to leave it in the whole time?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply June 16, 2016

      Faaiza it’s to create some steam while the bread is cooking. Yep you leave it in there and it will be absorbed. Enjoy!

  • Hind

    Reply Reply April 29, 2016

    Hi and thank you for this recipe I’m going to try it. I was wondering if it would work as smaller buns instead of a big loaf? Thanks again.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply May 25, 2016

      Sure would Hind. I would divide the dough after the first rise.

  • Rod

    Reply Reply February 4, 2016

    Hi I have been making damper and bread for a long time and this one is a winner congrats

  • Pete

    Reply Reply January 25, 2016

    We went to the Maldives last year and out of all the lovely food available the one that stood out for me was a round loaf of olive bread covered in a wonderful flour.I have been searching for a recipe and think i’ve found it.Looking forward to making this very soon cup measurements are fine by me.Thanks for sharing.x

    • Claire

      Reply Reply January 25, 2016

      I never would have thought of the Maldives as somewhere that would have had amazing olive bread! I hope this loaf lives up to that.

  • Louise Bowering

    Reply Reply December 17, 2015

    Just mad this bread and it turned out delicious!!! I added extra olives and rosemary, dead set it turned out so moist and not dry! Everytime I have made bread it has turned out dry and flat! I will keep this recipe for life!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 18, 2015

      Woohoo! Well done Louise. It really is the best bread isn’t it?!

  • Chris

    Reply Reply September 20, 2015

    First time making bread, came out absolutely perfect and so delicious, was eaten in a few minutes hot out of the oven. Thanks for this amazing recipe.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply September 22, 2015

      You’re very welcome Chris. That reminds me I really need to make this again!

  • Carole

    Reply Reply July 11, 2015

    I just made the olive bread in this recipe today for the first time. I used 1 tbspn of the coconut sugar and two teaspoons of salt but otherwise kept the rest of the recipe the same. It has turned out fabulous. Great light texture. Rose really well and tastes terrific. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Love it! I am not that well practised at making bread, having only taken to it recently. I have only made 6 batches (12 loaves) of wholemeal bread previously.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply July 14, 2015

      You’re very very welcome. It’s a delicious bread isn’t it? I need to get some more olives and make it again!

  • Shaf

    Reply Reply April 7, 2015

    Fantastic!!! My first try at baking and it turned out beautifully…thanks

  • Liana

    Reply Reply March 8, 2015

    I just took my loaves out of the oven, they came out perfect!!! I couldn’t help myself I had to cut off a slice – so delicious!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply March 8, 2015

      You’re very welcome Liana! So glad you liked them

  • Vinni

    Reply Reply February 16, 2015

    I made this last night and also found that it was too sticky and needed more flour. However after rectifying the situation and making a mess with flour all over the kitchen the end result was worth it!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply February 17, 2015

      Yay so glad it was worth it in the end Vinni. It can totally depend on even the brand of flour that you use. Some of them soak up the water more than others.

  • lisa

    Reply Reply December 3, 2014

    This was a perfect recipe!I swapped 1/2 cup of plain for for rye and I worked a treat would this still be good with only 2 rises rather than three?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 3, 2014

      Thanks Lisa! I actually made it today and I think it would be ok with 2 rises.

  • lee

    Reply Reply November 30, 2014

    I love this recepie and have made it at least a dozen times even with sun dried tomatoes or just plain and even used wholemeal flour. Sometimes I feel it needs more flour but maybe its because I don’t know what weight a cup of flour should be. Ive made rolls for dinner this evening to go with yummy Italian sausages as my family will be here putting the Christmas tree up. Kitchen smells amazing. Thank you for your recepie.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 1, 2014

      That sounds wonderful Lee. I actually have some homemade sun-dried tomato in the fridge so I’ll have to try it!

  • Dani

    Reply Reply August 17, 2014

    Great olive bread recipe. I’m so impressed I’m looking for more of your bread recipes! 🙂

    I halved the quantities to try it out first and it worked a perfectly.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply August 18, 2014

      So glad you liked it Dani! I have heaps of bread recipes. Hope you like them all.

  • Kala

    Reply Reply July 29, 2014

    Hi Claire, This was absolutely delicious and came out really well.
    How can I make brown bread using the same method?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply July 29, 2014

      Hi Kala. I think it would just be experimenting with different types of flour. I’d start with the same recipe and use a different flour.

  • Laura

    Reply Reply July 8, 2014

    Made this yesterday. Very messy to make but it was definitely worth it. Thanks!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply July 9, 2014

      You’re welcome Laura. Making mess is half the fun!

  • johanna

    Reply Reply June 30, 2014

    What are the cup measurements, in ounces. Please
    Looking forward to making this bread.

  • Liz randall

    Reply Reply April 28, 2014

    Out of all of the olive bread receipes I tried and tested before. This one I have found the best. It’s simple and not complicated. Even my husband who is trying his hand at making bread likes this simple receipe.
    (I have just made one with that I have added grated tastie cheese. ( hoping it works)

    • Claire

      Reply Reply April 29, 2014

      Ooh yum Liz. I love the added cheddar idea. Hope it turns out but I’m sure it will. So glad you like the recipe!

  • jan

    Reply Reply April 21, 2014

    Made it today as had it at a friend’s house. Looked on the internet and saw your site. It’s really east and the end result is worth the wait!

  • Sarah Gibbins

    Reply Reply February 19, 2014

    Such an amazing reciepe. Made it loads of times now and it comes out perfect everytime. Thanks for sharing! Best bread ever!

  • Ashleigh

    Reply Reply May 10, 2013

    Looks amazing, will be attempting this as a mothers day present tomorrow for mum with a bottle of wine, can’t go wrong!!

    whats the serving size roughly for the bread? cheers 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply May 10, 2013

      Great idea Ashleigh! I would say it makes about a 500g loaf? Maybe a little bigger. I would be a decent bread with a meal for 6-8.

  • Mary

    Reply Reply April 3, 2013

    Can’t wait to try this out, especially after reading all the great reviews!
    Just wondering if the pan of water has to stay in the over during the duration of the baking?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply April 3, 2013

      Hi Mary. Yep leave the water in the oven. It will totally evaporate and create a nice steamy environment for the bread. Good luck!

  • Mariam

    Reply Reply April 1, 2013

    I found the amount of liquid for this recipe lead to a very very sticky and wet dough. I had to use loads of flour to knead it. Is it supposed to be like that?

    • Claire

      Reply Reply April 2, 2013

      Hi Mariam. Sorry you had trouble with the recipe. I didn’t find it needed much extra flour. It could be the type of flour that you’re using or even the climate?

  • Jake Tilbury

    Reply Reply February 27, 2013

    We had a party at our house on Saturday night as a send for a friend that is leaving the uk to join the bike circus…. it ended up being a pretty big party that last until the next day, this was not really expected. We ended up with a very unhappy letter from our landlord saying that we kept the family next door up alll night. We bake a lot of bread in our house but it thought i would make something a little bit more special for a gift to say sorry to the family next door…. the olive bread is rising now … lets hope it dose the trick 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply February 27, 2013

      I’m sure it will Jake! They will be able to smell it too so that should get them wondering what that wonderful smell is and wishing it was in their kitchen!

  • Morris

    Reply Reply November 24, 2012

    well dooby dooby do!!! thats what i call a winner!!! just had a big fat slice, covered it in stuff found in the fridge!!! dooby dooby do!!! thanks!!!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply November 24, 2012

      Yay! Glad you liked it Morris!

  • Frank

    Reply Reply September 19, 2012

    The olive bread is in the oven – smells awesome and looks amazing! Cant wait to taste it

  • Phoebe

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    Just made this, didn’t have any olives in the fridge, so used sundried tomatoes and pepitas. Massive win! Just has a slice, the rest will be going to my mama’s for sunday night dinner to wipe up saucey lamb shank juice!

    • Claire

      Reply Reply September 9, 2012

      Oh yum Phoebe that sounds great! Glad it was a success!

  • Gabrielle

    Reply Reply June 16, 2012

    Looks lovely – am making it right now. But wish you’d give quantities in ounces or kilograms, for the sake of your British fans.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply June 17, 2012

      I hope it worked out Gabrielle! For the measurements… 1kg = 1000g I hope that helps!

      • Will

        Reply Reply April 24, 2013

        Will be trying this tomorrow to go with some homemade mushroom soup. I have the same request. Would you mind sharing the weight value to what a ‘cup’ is?

        • Claire

          Reply Reply April 25, 2013

          Hi Will. That sounds like a great idea. A cup of bakers flour is about 130g.

  • Nicole

    Reply Reply April 3, 2012

    I made your Olive bread and I LOVED IT. Often when I buy olive bread at a bakery – there aren’t enough olives. Home made – there were plenty! This will become one of my staple baked delight.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply April 3, 2012

      I’m so glad you liked it Nicole. It’s still the best bread I’ve ever made. You just reminded me about it I haven’t made it in a while. Yum!

  • Merv

    Reply Reply May 12, 2011

    I made this today… Oh so yum!! It was so easy… There goes my low carb diet for today… Will be making again for sure…

  • Inspired2cook

    Reply Reply April 7, 2011

    Your bread looks delish!

  • This looks delicious! would be perfect with a big smear of salted European butter, mmm

  • molly kelly

    Reply Reply April 4, 2011

    It does look super yummy Bub!! Mum x

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