loaf and slices of olive bread on a cutting board

Rustic Greek Olive Bread

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 round loaf 1x


Olive bread is a crusty vegan loaf dotted with kalamata olives.  This simple white bread recipe is easy to make and delicious with soup or in a sandwich.  Dip each slice into olive oil to make an incredible Mediterranean appetizer!



  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (45 ml)
  • 1 1/3 cup room temperature water (325 ml)
  • 1 cup Greek kalamata olives, pitted and halved (162g)


Making the Bread Dough (25 min + 1 hr proving)

  1. Pour the flour into a bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl.  Dump in the olive oil and half the water, then start mixing with your hand.  Gradually add more liquid as you mix to form a slightly sticky dough.  Keep mixing until all the flour is picked up from the bowl.
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth, stretchy, and no longer sticks to the work surface.
  3. Use the windowpane test to see if the bread is kneaded enough.  Break off a sizeable lump and stretch it as thin as you can to form a windowpane.  If the dough is translucent without tearing, it’s kneaded enough; if it rips, knead for a minute more, then check again.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Put in a warm place and let the dough prove until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shaping the Olive Bread (15 min + 30 min proving)

  1. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the gas pockets.
  2. Pile about half of the kalamata olives on the dough, then fold the dough over the olives.  Knead to evenly distribute the olives in the dough, adding flour as needed.  Add the remaining olives.
  3. Roughly flatten the dough into a circle, then fold the edges of the circle into the middle to create a ball.  Pinch all the ends together firmly, then turn the loaf seam side down.  Cup your hands around the loaf and gently turn it around to smooth the shape.
  4. Generously flour a banneton (cane basket for proving bread), or grease and flour a large mixing bowl if you don’t own a banneton.  Place the loaf upside down (seam side up) in the banneton or bowl, cover with a linen cover or tea towel and let prove until the loaf springs back quickly to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  5. About 10 minutes before the bread is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 F.

Baking the Olive Bread (30 min baking + cooling)

  1. Turn out the proved loaf onto a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Don’t worry if it deflates a little; it should spring back up in the oven.
  2. Cut a slash on top with a bread baker’s lame (razor blade) or a very sharp serrated knife.
  3. Bake the bread at 425 F for 35 minutes, until the bread is well browned and has an internal temperature of at least 190 F.
  4. Let the bread cool completely on a wire cooling rack before slicing and serving, about 1 hour.  This allows the bread to finish cooking through.


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  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: kalamata olive, olive bread recipe

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