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

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. 

Olive bread the best bread I've ever made
Olive bread the best bread I've ever made
Olive bread

Olive bread

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

The most delicious homemade olive bread you'll ever find. Don't be put off by the prep time - it's only about 15 minutes hands-on the rest is resting time.


  • 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 for 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.

Need dinner ideas & can't get to the shops?

Hi, I'm Claire. I'd love to send you a free copy of my eBook '12 ingredients, 11 recipes.'

Learn to to create 11 easy, tasty meals using just 12 basic ingredients from your pantry & freezer - no running to the shops.

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