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Rosemary Olive Bread

This bread originated in class a couple of weeks ago. I froze the dough and took it home to bake, where I gave it a long, slow rise in the refrigerator. I can safely say that if you do not absolutely hate either olives or rosemary, you will enjoy this bread. It is unbeliveably soft with a full, but not aggressive, flavor. Doesn’t that sound like I’m describing a wine? On top of the heavenly texture, it’s beautiful to look at, so even if you’re not an olive fan you can serve it to your friends. Rubbing the bread lightly with flour before slashing and baking gives it such a lovely, rustic look.

My neighbors were the recipients of about half of this loaf and they reported that it makes excellent toast. And with EoMEoTE coming up, it doesn’t take a genius (or a gourmand) to see the possible applications of a good toasting bread.
Did I mention that this bread is a snap to put together? These instructions direct you to mix by hand, but you can also do it in a mixer with a dough hook.

Rosemary Olive Bread
3 cups bread flour (ap will work fine, too)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2-1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsley chopped

Combine yeast and warm water until yeast becomes creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add olive oil, salt, sugar, rosemary and olives into the yeast mixture and add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes away from the side of the bowl. Move dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Shape dough gently into a ball. Place on a baking sheet and let rise, covered with a damp towel, for 30 minutes. Dust the bread ligtly with flour, slash the top and put into the oven.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Place on a wire rack to cool.

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  • drbiggles
    May 17, 2005

    Jeez, that almost looks easy enough for me to put together without screwing it up too badly.
    One of my weak spots is bread. Crusty & fluff tasty. I’ll tag this one, but given my schedule not sure when I’ll get to it. I need to do a batch of crackers first.


  • galinusa
    May 18, 2005

    That’s one lovely looking bread! Alas, I lack 1) motivation and 2) enough bread-lovers to justify the work and effort I put into my baking. Maybe some day 🙂

  • Nic
    May 18, 2005

    Dr. B – You’ll like this one, I guarantee it. I bet it would make killer sandwiches, too.

    Galinusa – Non-bread lovers in your kitchen? Oh no! Here’s a trick, though: keep baking breads until you hit on one that they can’t resist. The only downside is that you’ll have to keep baking bread after that!

  • Ana
    May 19, 2005

    Only one rising in this bread? And, from your post, what you did was to put it in the freezer until you were ready to bake it and then let it raise in the fridge before baking! I am going t try it that way. Makes it more “doable” to me.

  • Nic
    May 19, 2005

    Ana – Yeah, you can freeze the bread once it starts to proof. The dough can stay frozen for a week or two. To defrost, just put it in the fridge for 12 hours and then let it come up to room temperature. Shape the loaf, let it rise a bit again (that extra 30 minutes while you preheat the oven) and bake!

  • Jennifer
    May 26, 2005


    Congrats on being Saucy Mag’s recipe of the day!


  • Sam
    June 11, 2005

    beautiful picture!!!!

  • Nic
    June 11, 2005

    Sam – The added bonus with this loaf is that it tastes as good as it looks. Dontcha just love that?

  • sarah
    June 22, 2005

    nic – i am always amazed by anyone who can bake yeast bread – that is one of the hardest things to do – i have tried several times and they always come out like…well, poo. lol!

    anyway, just cruising through all the entries for dmblgit – you know, checking out the competition 😉 the photo is gorgeous. makes your bread look dark and mysterious 😉

  • Nic
    June 22, 2005

    Thanks, Sara. Dark and mysterious… I like that in a bread!

  • kendomonkey
    October 19, 2005

    Good golly, beautiful picture forced me to bake a couple loaves last Sunday. I baked mine on a pizza stone, seemed to work great…the loaves are gone and it’s only Wednesday.

  • Michelle
    June 14, 2006

    Hi there. I made this bread on Monday and have been enjoying it. However, I’m wondering if 1 TBS salt is a typo???? I cut back a little and it is still salty. Just curious. Thanks for the recipe and such a beautiful picture.


  • Nikki
    July 10, 2007

    I had a bunch of rosemary to use and found this recipe. I made the bread yesterday. I did cut the salt back to 1/2 tbsp because my olives were briny. The finished bread has a pleasant level of saltiness. I also did not have any sea salt so I substituted kosher salt. This bread turned out fabulous with a nice chewy crust. My husband loves it and is already asking me to make another.

  • Naomi
    October 24, 2010

    This is really salty. Is the tablespoon a typo?

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