This homemade olive bread is so good and only takes a few hours to make. You’ll think it came from an old-style French bakery with its delicious chewy crust and heavy addition of green and black olives.

This recipe has been updated-

sliced olive bread with a plate of olives in oil

“When there is little bread at the table, put plenty on your plate.” – Italian proverb.

I couldn’t agree more, especially if it is filled with brine-soaked Mediterranean olives like this easy olive bread recipe. I wish you could taste it because I know it would erase the thought some people have of not being able to bake their own bread. Once you make this olive bread, you’ll start baking all sorts of other yeast recipes because it’s such a fun and addictive process!

I love bread. What part, you ask? Well, there’s the smell, the texture, the coarseness, the sound, and the chew factor. Did I get you with that last one? The chew factor is what I call the burnt-tasting ring around the edge of the bread. It reminds me of the smoke ring that appears when you smoke some brisket or ribs. It’s flavor, and did I tell you I loved it?

ingredients needed for your olive bread

  • Bread Flour– This type of flour has more protein therefore can produce more gluten. You can usually find it in the baking aisle easily enough but if not regular all purpose flour can be substituted for it. The texture might be softer with less of a chew to it.
  • Active Dry Yeast– Easily available and keeps for a while on the fridge. Dry yeast is usually sold in envelopes and each one contains 2 1/4 teaspoons. You can also use quick-rise yeast for an even faster result.
  • Salt
  • Warm Water– Hot tap water is what you’ll need, lukewarm temperature is perfect ideally between 100-115 degrees.
  • Mixed Olives– Any sort of your favorite olives will work as long as they are not stuffed and are pitted. I like to use a mix of green and kalamata olives.
  • Olive Oil
  • Cornmeal

How to make Mediterranean olive bread at home

  1. There are a few important rules when making any yeast product, don’t handle it too much and when to bake it. As soon as you combine the ingredients they start working together and the yeast begins to feed on the sugars in the flour. This creates carbon dioxide gas which is what makes the bread rise. If you can imagine thousands of tiny bubbles filled with gas the last thing you want is for those bubbles to burst and be left with a flat, dense piece of dough. That’s why it’s so important to handle the dough gently from the minute it starts rising to when it actually goes in the oven to bake.

  2. This is such a simple olive bread recipe with only five main ingredients. I know how easy it can be to just buy bread from the store. If you want good bread though it’s worth making your own! There’s so much satisfaction when you nurture something from flour, water, and yeast to a loaf of bread with a crackling crust and a smell that you’ll never want to leave your kitchen.

olive bread in a dutch oven pot

recipe faq’s

How do you know when the bread is ready to bake?

Bread and yeast products usually always get two times to rise. After the first rise, you will actually punch all of the gas out of the dough, but this is the only time you’ll do that. This is to get rid of any large gas bubbles that might have been created and the yeast will be strong enough for a second rise. It’s on this second rise that the bubbles will appear more even and creating a better texture.
After the second rise is when you’ll eventually transfer your bread to the oven. The dough should look almost like it would be if it was baked. It should be fairly firm and show no bubbles on the outer crust. That happens when the dough is left too long to rise and the gas begins to escape from the inside. This is called “over-proofing”. If you were to bake a loaf like this, it would be flatter and more dense because the gases escaped before you put it in the oven. The key is to keep those gas bubbles intact and inside the dough to end up with a light airy texture.

Which yeast should I use when I bake my olive bread?

There’s dry yeast and fresh yeast. Dry yeast is what you will see in every grocery store and it comes in little square envelopes or small jars. This is by far the most popular and easiest way to go when baking bread at home. Fresh yeast comes in a square block and feels like moist putty, and it smells. It’s mostly used in larger commercial bakeries where they need large quantities and they can use it quicker. Fresh yeat needs to be refrigerated and lasts only a few weeks at the most.
Red Star Yeast is my favorite brand to use when it comes to baking bread. They have three different types of dry yeast to choose from depending on your recipe schedule, and a website filled with tips and information saving me from any disasters. I used their Platinum yeast which really sped up the rising process for my olive bread. I’ve used this recipe before with regular yeast and usually had to let it rise overnight. Not anymore, I can mix this dough together at lunchtime and have crackling hot olive bread on the table at dinnertime!

Can I freeze any leftover bread?

You can, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag and freeze. Alternatively you can make really good homemade croutons and your salads will thank you!

Do pitted olives have pits or not?

Olives that are pitted have had their pits removed and are safe to eat.

How long will this bread last?

This bead will last for 2-3 days covered on the countertop. It also makes great toast after that.

How long will it take for my bread to rise?

This is hard to gauge because everyones kitchen humidity is different. Sometimes I’ll switch my oven to “keep warm”setting for a few minutes and then switch it off. The small amount of heat will help the bread rise. You can also turn on your oven and place the bread on top of the stove to catch any hot air rising upwards. Basically your looking for a slightly warm and dry place for the bread to rise. The colder it is the longer the bread will take to rise.

olive bread on a cutting board

more great bread recipes

Homemade Mediterranean Olive Bread

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 124kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
Chewy homemade olive bread filled with green and black olives. Thisis perfect for charcuterie or some really good butter spread on top.
Print Recipe


  • 3 ½ cups bread flour plus extra for dusting your work surface
  • 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast, usually one envelope packet
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pitted green olives pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil to coat the resting bowl
  • Cornmeal for dusting


  • Lay a clean kitchen towel on a cookie tray and dust liberally with corn meal. Set aside with another towel beside it. You will also need a large dutch oven or heavy ceramic pot with a lid.
  • Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and both types of olives together in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  • Add the warm water and gently mix together  until the dough starts to come together. It will look and feel wet.
  • Dust your table with flour and dump the dough out of the bowl and knead into a ball shape. Dust with flour if it's still a little sticky.
  • Coat a large bowl with the olive oil and return the dough into the bowl.
  • Cover with a clean towel and Let it sit until it roughly doubles in size.
  • Once it has risen, take it out of the bowl and lay it on your table. Roughly press the dough into a flat circle.
  • Fold the dough over on itself kneading it back into a ball for a second time.
  • Lay the dough onto the cornmeal dusted towel, seam side down.
  • Dust the top of the dough lightly with some extra cornmeal and cover with the towel again.
  • Place the empty pot (not the lid) into your oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
  • By the time your oven is at temperature, your dough should have risen enough on the second rise, if not give it a little longer.
  • When the bread is ready, take off the top towel and using a sharp serrated knife, cut 2-3 slits across the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Take the pot out of the oven and using both hands, very carefully lift and gently drop the bread into the pot.
  • Place the lid on and put it back into the oven.Remember the pot is very hot! Bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, take the lid from the pot and bake for a further 20-30 minutes and the crust is golden and crispy.
  • Let cool before slicing.


Rising times may vary due to environment and temperature of the surroundings. Heat will speed up the process so small warm areas are great for letting the bread rise. Prep time above includes all resting times. Adapted from Jim Lahey,


Serving: 2oz | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg