Cooking With Confidence
I think my favorite loaf ever!
by Nick

Olive Bread

I’ve been baking no knead bread every week or so for over a year now and I’m getting pretty decent at it. It’s really simple to learn and once you’ve made a few dozen loafs you start to pick up on subtle differences that make one loaf slightly better than the other.

Pretty much all of them are way superior than anything you can buy in the store though. That said, I must admit that I’ve been getting a bit bored lately with the standard recipe. That’s why I was very excited to get my hands on My Bread by Jim Lahey, the founder of the No Knead Method (My Review).

There are a lot of great recipes in the book, but the one that slapped me across the mouth right away was the olive bread recipe. Maybe it’s just because I love olives so much, but I had to make this as soon as possible.

I’d never had olive bread before, but I think it was probably the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made.

The crust on this loaf was great. Really crunchy and delicious. And the interior crumb was chewy and had a really nice structure. Then every other bite or so you’ll run into an olive which has made a rich, briny, salty pocket of flavor.

I think this is not something that most people are used to when they think of bread. I’ve talked to a few people about it and they stare at me… “So there are olives? In the bread? Weird.” Maybe it’s a tough sell, but I promise you won’t be disappointed if you try it (assuming you at least somewhat like olives obviously).

1 loaf
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Olive Bread


  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups cool water

Helpful Equipment

Print Recipe  


1) Drain the olives and pat them dry. Roughly chop and make sure that all the olives actually don’t have pits.

2) Mix yeast and flour together in a large bowl and then toss in the chopped olives

3) Add water and mix everything together using your hands or a large spoon.

4) Cover this and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours.

5) Take a large tea towel and sprinkle it liberally with flour and corn meal. If you don’t have corn meal you can just use flour, but corn meal adds a great texture to it.

6) Scrape dough (you’ll need to scrape it) out onto a floured surface and just fold it a few times, liberally flouring both sides if it is sticking. Eventually you want to form a ball or loaf with it. Turn this onto floured towel with the seam side down on the towel.

7) Cover with the towel and let the loaf ferment and proof for another two hours.

8) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Let a cast iron pot heat in the oven for at least 30 minutes so it is as hot as can be. Don’t preheat the lid in the oven. Just the pot itself.

9) Once the pot is blazing hot, pick up the towel with the dough on it and roll the dough into the pot so the seam side is up again!

10) Put the lid on the pot and cook it for 30 minutes. Then take off the lid (be really careful of escaping steam). Cook it for another 20 minutes or so until the crust is a dark, walnut brown.

11) Let it cool on a wire rack for an hour before slicing it.

From Jim Lahey's My Bread.

Olive Bread ingredients

Simple Ingredients.

If you’re a regular bread maker, you might note that this recipe is missing salt – a normal staple in bread. That’s because the olives have plenty of saltiness and over the long fermentation time, that saltiness creeps out into the bread. It’s seriously amazing.

Olive Bread: Making the dough

The dough for this is just like making a normal no knead loaf except that you need to chop up some olives. Use good olives that are kept in a salt brine. Divina makes a great product.

Drain the olives and pat them dry. Then give these guys a rough chop and make sure that all the olives actually don’t have pits. Sometimes the pitting machines will miss one or two per jar. Be on the lookout! You don’t want Broken Tooth Bread.

Olive bread chunks

Chunks are good.

Mix your yeast and flour together in a large bowl and then toss in your chopped olives. Don’t worry. The olives won’t turn the bread a strange color. Then add your water and mix everything together using your hand or a large spoon.

I prefer the clean hand method myself. After just a few seconds you should have a pretty moist ball of dough. It should be very wet. You wouldn’t be able to knead this even if you wanted to.

Just a few seconds to pull this together.

Just a few seconds to pull this together.

Cover this and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours. I let mine sit for the full 18 and this is what resulted!

Olive bread rising

After 18 hours…

It’s a big bubbly mess. That’s good. That means the yeast has done its job.

Next, take a large tea towel and sprinkle it liberally with flour and corn meal. If you don’t have corn meal you can just use flour, but corn meal adds a great texture to it.

olive bread dusting

Don’t make fun of my ugly 70s towel please.

Scrape your dough (you’ll need to scrape it) out onto a floured surface and just fold it a few times, liberally flouring both sides if it is sticking. Eventually you want to form a ball or loaf with it.

This was not the best one I’ve ever made.

Loaf shaped

Not my best shaping job. Whatever.

Turn this onto your floured towel with the seam side down on the towel. The seam side by the way, is the side that’s on top in the above photo. So I flipped it so that was down on the floured towel.

Cover that towel and let the loaf ferment and proof for another two hours.

Baking the Olive Bread

After your bread has been proofing for about 90 minutes, preheat your oven to AS HOT AS YOU CAN. For me this was 500 degrees.

The traditional way to make no knead bread is to use a heavy enameled cast iron pot. If you don’t have one of those though, I’ve shown a few other ways you can bake this loaf in this post.

Assuming you do have a proper pot though, you want to get it blazing hot also. I usually let my pot heat in the oven for at least 30 minutes so it is as hot as can be. Don’t preheat the lid in the oven. Just the pot itself.

Once your pot is blazing hot, pick up the towel with the dough on it and roll the dough into the pot so the seam side is up again! It should look something like this:

Baked olive bread

It all evens out in the pot.

If it’s a bit uneven that’s okay. The dough will spread out and even out as it cooks.

Put the lid on the pot and cook it for 30 minutes. Then take off the lid (be really careful of escaping steam). Cook it for another 20 minutes or so until the crust is a dark, walnut brown.

Let it cool on a wire rack for an hour before slicing it.

Crusty and Delicious olive bread!

Crusty and Delicious!

One of the worries I had with this loaf is how it would be for a sandwich. No worries there! I’ve made a few turkey sandwiches with it and it is so good. The olives are fantastic. It’s ends up being a really subtle flavor throughout the bread. It’s not the overpowering briny flavor that you get when you actually eat an olive.

It’s subtle and salty and delicious.

I’ll be completely honest. I think this might be one of the better loafs of bread I’ve ever eaten. Definitely the best I’ve ever cooked. I just can’t say enough good things about it!

If you’ve tried olive bread before, leave a comment and confirm its amazingness.


More baked goodies!

Oatmeal and Blueberry Muffins

Oatmeal and Blueberry Muffins for Babies: The perfect quick breakfast for toddlers! Packed with oats and blueberries and super-reduced sugar content. Whole wheat, apple sauce, and fruit. Parents will love them too! |

Coconut White Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

Coconut pumpkin loaf

Coffee Coffee Cake

coffee coffee cake

Share this post!

245 comments on “Olive Bread

  1. You should use this for another entry in your search for the best grilled cheese… some really good mozzarella or gruyere would be a perfect complement.

  2. I just bought "My Bread" and want to make everything in it. I've come up with an alternative to the floured tea towel step for no-knead bread, though. I put the dough on cornmeal-covered parchment paper before its second rise and then just pick up the paper and bread together and put them in the hot pot. The paper doesn't burn and you can just pick the loaf up by the corners of the paper when it's done. Neat.

  3. What? In DC you can't just go into a store and buy olive bread? We've been buying olive bread in the store for years in California! It's always better homemade though. :0)

  4. @Rex: I use this recipe in my 12-quart copper-bottomed stock pot all the time to great results. Unless you're looking for an excuse to buy Le Creuset…

    I'll totally vouch for the deliciousness of olive bread AND this recipe. Nick, thanks for showing those of us who are less adventurous that the no-knead bread recipe can stand up to some modifications!

  5. This looks goooooood!! I have not made olive bread before, but my husband loves to bake bread so I will hand this one off to him and I will let you know how it turns out.

    Awesome towel.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone! @Mimi. I don't know of a place in DC where I can get it but I'm sure I can… honestly I haven't looked that hard. ;)

  7. This is one gorgeous, perfect bread! My friend taught me to make her no-knead bread and it’s fabulous! But I love the look of yours, the olives (we love olive bread) and the crumb/texture looks wonderful. Am marking this down!

  8. I am new to this site and it looks wonderful. Just made my first loaf of sourdough bread here in North GA, the southern terminus of the Ap Trail, so my sourdough starter is Appalachian :-) It came out perfect! Just amazing baking bread like that! Used my own well water too, and ground my red wheat berries. My ego is a little "swelled" right now! I am psyched to find your receipe, because just a few days ago I decided to incorporate olives into my next loaf of sourdough. I have had this bread before (store bought) and your are right, it is out of this world. I am also going to use pieces of fresh garlic and rosemary from my garden. Stay tuned for coming attractions folks. Sounds good, huh? Wish me luck.

  9. I've just started to make my own bread using Sprouted Wheat Flour. I am going to try this recipe with it and see how it turns out. I buy a roasted garlic loaf from Costco that is very similar to this in consistency and LOVE IT. I can't wait to try this at home tonight!

  10. Made it this morning- my first ever olive bread, not to mention my first no-knead bread, or any kind of bread!

    I didn't have a baking sheet or a pizza stone or a dutch oven, so I used a ceramic quiche dish and it came out very nicely.

    Thanks for this! Where I live in Australia, good and interesting fresh bread is easy to buy, but expensive! I love making things myself when I can and I am glad to have come across this recipe :)

  11. We can get good olive bread here in Princeton at an artisanal bakery, but there's nothing like making it fresh at home. I love Jim Lahey's bread recipe and make it often in cooler weather. But now you've given me incentive to try it with olives.

  12. Mmmm… olive bread! Yes, I've had it before, and yes, it is totally amazing! Can't wait to try your recipe.

  13. I tried this and it’s great. I make a lot of “traditional” kneaded bread, but the cooking method and pan make this exceptional with a great texture.

  14. I made two loaves of bread yesterday/today. I made the Olive bread and put some rosemary in it. I just tasted it and y u m m y !!! Wait a sec while I try the other loaf which is plain, but I did add some Summer Savory.

    Result: Wowee Wow Wow.

    Thanks, Nick.


  16. I cannot believe I am baking. I was surfing the internet and chanced upon MACHEESMO- NO KNEAD BREAD I don't know what got into me but I decided to try it. Well, I and my househould could not believe that the bread came out so perfect, the taste was much better than store bouught. This is my fourth week of making NDB so I decided to try the olive bread. This was sooooo good. I am now hooked on no knead bread making.

    Its so good and so si,ple

    Thanks You've changed my life


  17. Thank you, awesome post.

    I love that you provide alternatives, tips and suggestions. I was wondering to myself if I could do no knead with out the fancy pot…. I really appreciate that you found out for me.

  18. Awesome post! I love olive bread, but I buy it, because I have never made olive bread, or any kind of bread, myself. Olives and bread go wonderfully together. I also turn the weirdness up by toasting a piece of olive bread and spreading some good quality honey on it – it is salty and sweet and amazing. I wonder how this bread will do with some rosemary? I have been reading about no-knead bread for a while and this is the loaf to try! Thanks again.

  19. Just want everyone to know that you don't have to go out and buy an expensive pot to make this in. Check antique stores, thrift stores, and rummage sale for enameled cast iron. I found one in great condition for a few bucks at a rummage sale and I love it and use it all the time. I am an avid baker and cook and have not felt the need to "upgrade" with an expensive alternative.

  20. I’m anxious to try this recipe but can’t find bread flour. Any suggestions or substitute? thanks

    1. You can definitely sub all-purpose flour for the bread flour. The final result probably won’t be quite as, well, bready, but it’ll still be good.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  21. I really REALLY love the looks of this Olive Bread that you made. I was looking for an Olive Bread recipe similar to what my other half and I used to get several years ago. Thank you so much for posting this! I have some dough working its magic right now…

  22. Mercy! How did I miss this post! Love olives and No Knead Bread. Must make this. I used to make a Cheddar and Green Olive Loaf, when I used a bread machine. I need to try that recipe again, without the bread machine. But this one first!!!!

  23. So I found your recipe, and my oven goes to 550, would that change the time the bread stays in the oven at all????

    1. Heya, I think I would just stick to 500 degrees. I'm not sure how 550 would change the cook time and I've made this loaf a bunch at 500 and it always works out. If you wanted to experiment with the second loaf, you could crank it up and maybe take 5 minutes off the cook time.

      Good luck!

      1. thank you! I started this loaf of bread two days ago and baked it yesterday at 500 and it came out so delicious! everyone loves it! Thanks a lot!

  24. Well, today i baked my bread and i just had some, it is the best ever bread i ever baked, thank you Nick.
    ps, i used my expensive iron wok wich has a glass lid and everything went ok, thank God.

  25. I was surfing the net and happened to come across this website, I am so happy i found you! I love your recipes and i made this one yesterday. I have never made bread before and this recipe was fantastic! I am officially hooked and now i am wondering if i can play around with the ingredients and add whatever I like with the same results? I looked through the other breead recipes but i loved this the most bc it isnt fussy and it worked out great. Do you think i could turn it into a cinnamon raisin loaf and how much of each, or add carmelized onions to it and have the same success, or would i need to adjust a few things? Again a few of the other recipes called for so many extra steps, would i able to just swap out the olives in this one with the same great results? Thanks so much for this post!

    1. Hey Rafaella, Glad you like the recipe! Yes… this recipe is very adaptable. You can add all kinds of stuff to it. I would keep the add-ins to about 1-1.5 cups.

      If you want some specific recipes that work well, I really recommend the book My bread by Jim Lahey (link). It has some great variations. I’ve tried almost all of them and they are all delicious and will give you the confidence to start messing around on your own also. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Nick, Jim Lahey’s book is already on my Chrsitmas list! Thanks for the suggestions!

  26. There’s a shop in the town I grew up in here in Australia that sells an olive and thyme sourdough bread, my mom used to buy it when she could afford to (at $7 a loaf it’s certainly not cheap!) and my sisters and I would all greedily devour toasted slices dripping with melted butter mmmmm.
    I can’t wait to try out your recipe, the bread looks exactly the same as the loafs I’m used to having as a kid. However, I was wondering, I’m thinking of making a couple of loaves to give as Xmas presents, how long do you think they would last? Obviously I’d like to give them as fresh as possible, but the intended recipients will be staying at my house for a couple of days before Xmas. I don’t have much experience with keeping these loaves, normally olive bread is gone the day it’s bought in my household!

    1. Hey Chela! So when I make this loaf, I keep let it cool completely (which takes a few hours) and then store it in plastic in the fridge. It keeps that way for over a week. Probably close to two weeks, but it does lose some of it’s freshness that way.

      I think the ideal way to store it is to wrap it in a towel or something light and keep it at room temperature. I think it would be fine like that for a day or two but then it would probably start to get stale if you don’t wrap it tighter and fridge it.

      One thing that I haven’t actually tried, but I’ve heard works well is freezing the loaf. So let it cool completely, then double wrap it tightly and freeze it. Let this thaw slowly at room temp and I’ve heard that it doesn’t lose much. I’ve never actually tried this though so you may want to do a test run if you want to use this method.

      Good luck!

  27. I have a non-bread baking question ….
    how do i clean the tea towel after baking the bread ?

    1. Honestly, it’s normally just covered in flour so I just shake it out outside and reuse it. If it ever gets really gross you can throw it in the washing machine with a load of dish towels.

  28. Hi! I noticed that this recipe calls for more yeast than the original no-knead recipe (which I made the other day and loved!). Do you know the reason for that? Also, You mention not to pre-heat the lid, although I did pre-heat the lid with the original recipe. Have you ever tried parchment paper instead of kitchen towels? Thanks for the post, I can’t wait to try this bread this weekend!

    1. I think you need a bit more yeast for this version, but you could try it with the lower amount.

      You don’t need to preheat the lid because it never comes in contact with the bread. It just holds the steam in.

      Never tried parchment paper, but I can see how it would work fine. :) Glad you like the recipe!

  29. How would I go about adding some cheese to this bread? How much cheese? What kind of cheese? Can’t wait to make it, Olive Bread is my new love!

    1. Yep! Assuming you have a heavy cast iron pot, it should be fine although I always recommend checking the temp limits on whatever pot you are using.

      1. Hi NIck…
        Presently, I only have a 12″ Cast Iron Lodge Logic with no lid??…Could this possibly accomplish the task?? I am dying to try this recipe but I am reluctant to purchasing an expensive pot at the moment…

        Thank, I love your website…soon I’m going to try out your corn Chowder…One of my Fav’s

        Maryjo ;)

  30. I have made this with great results….I also tweeked recipe and mixed green salad olives w/pimentos along w/chopped black olives and added Pram/Romano and some shredded mozzarelle, turns out a beatiful colorful loaf of bread…

    My oven must be extremly hot because I had to back off the heat some to keep from burning even before I tried adding the cheese to dough. (I use a heavy black cast iron dutch oven, this might be part of that reason)….great bread for a beginner(which I am not) and just as good for a skilled cook!

  31. I made this and LOVED it!!!! In fact, I made it for a party and everyone is STILL raving about it! I did add some salt because my olives weren’t salty enough.
    Thank you for the great instructions!

  32. Dough has been sitting for 8 hours…..10 to go. Can’t wait to taste. There is nothing like excellent olive bread.

  33. Great recipe, the bread turned out exactly as on your picture. Love the taste & texture of the bread. Definitely making it again!!!

  34. Ooo! I’d really like to try making this recipe. If I want to use a sourdough starter instead of active dry yeast, what would be the recommended amount to use in grams? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hmm… that’s a tough one Shar. You may just have to play with it. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother using a sourdough starter for this though. Since it ferments for so long, it has a lot of flavor in it as-is. I would save the sourdough starter for other things.

  35. This is the most amazing bread I’ve made. Everyone in the family loves it and getting my wife to concede that I can go anything good int the kitchen is quite an achievement. Today, I’m trying the recipe with carmalized onions and garlic. It’s got to be good.

  36. looks great, i def want to try this recipe! Do you leave the oven at 500* for the whole cooking time??? Thanks!

  37. I love this bread! But the two times I’ve made it, the bottom has burned (in a dutch oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes). Any suggestions to keep this from happening?

    1. Hmm Jill… that’s odd. I’ve never had that happen. You try buying an oven thermometer and checking your oven temp (they are like 10-15 bucks). Ovens sometimes run 50-75 degrees hot which could result in some burning.

      Also, if your dough isn’t wet enough it might burn. It should be really loose.

      Good luck!

  38. Nick,
    I really would like to bake this bread. I need to purchase a Dutch oven first. The first link is dead. Can you point me to the correct site? I’m sure my family will devour this bread… I’ll have to make a few loaves. Thanks in advance for your link.

    1. I also have a convection oven, will that make a difference? I think I would need to lower the temperature by 50 degrees or so.

  39. I started this bread last night and baked it this afternoon. It turned out great! I used all purpose flour. I wish I had added a bit of salt and maybe it is just because I didn’t use kalamata olives that it just isn’t quite salty enough for my tastes, plus I have a serious love of salt, but that is my bad. My oven goes to 550, so with the lid on I baked it for 20 minutes then another 20ish with the lid off. I have two different sized dutch ovens and used my smaller one, so the loaf isn’t quite as spread out. The bottom isn’t burnt, but I think the flour from the dish cloth when I put it in got a bit toasted and I can taste it when I eat the bread. Also, my dough stuck to my dish towel even though I put quite a bit of flour because I was worried about that happening, so I might let it rise on a slightly oiled cutting board covered with a towel or something like that in the future. I have made Lahey’s stecca and pizzas before from My Bread, which are fantastic, and I was happy to see this posted online since I normally check the book out from the library. THANK YOU!!

  40. I just made a variation of this and it was amazing. In addition to the pieces of olives I used some blended tomato. I have a few questions and comments. First, is there a reason you don’t preheat the lid too? Second, are there any other variations you have done? I’m trying a bunch, I tried walnut and basil, just now the olive and tomato, next I want to try pumpkin, and then hot pepper. Any other ideas are welcome! Thanks!

    1. Hey Isabelle, I just don’t recommend preheating the lid because most manufacturers say to not heat the lid knob past 400 degrees or so. It’s POSSIBLE, but unlikely, that it will melt unless you replace it with a metal knob. Also, it’s not really important for the lid to preheat because the bread never touches it. It’s just used to keep in moisture. Good luck! And yes, I’ve don’t lots of variations. Sun-dried tomato, Parmesan… go crazy with it. :)

      1. Once on an episode of Martha Stewart she was talking about the knob getting too hot. She simply went to the hardware store and purchased a metal knob to replace the one that came one the pot. It’s just secured with a screw so it’s no problem to change.

  41. Hi, I was wondering, what size Dutch oven do you recommend for this? Would it work in a cast iron skillet?

    1. Heya, I use at least a 5qt dutch oven for the recipe and I’m not sure a cast iron skillet would work great. YOu need all around heat in an enclosed space. Sure… it will bake on a cast iron skillet, but it wont be AS good.

      Good luck!

  42. Nick, thank you very much for this wonderful recopy. I can’t stop making it and evermore think I’m great baker;) love it! And my friends too!! I recommended to a friend and she asked me if would be possible to reduce or cut of the last two hours?

    My bread got burn in the bottom ones but was a problem with the pot! My pot was burn with other dish before. So for the person who ask about that, you might have to check your pot. Cheers

  43. Perfection! Served it with a salad (w/ smoked chicken & apples) smothered with some homemade Blue Cheese dressing and it was sooo so so good. Thanks for sharing this.

  44. Oh my goodness does this bread look amazing! Olive bread is my absolute favorite! I just did the mixture last night and am just an hour away from the 18 hours and my dough is not bubbly at all. It is pretty cold in my house, could this be the problem? Should I just keep following the recipe and pray it works out? It already smells delicious.

    1. Sorry I didn’t reply immediately Maritza. I was on the road driving… anyway, it should be bubbling even if your house is a bit cold. Hopefully it worked out okay but it sounds like you might need some new yeast. :(

      1. It turned out PERFECT Nick! Thank you! I left another post – I just love this recipe and your blog! Be well:)

  45. I used my crockpot with a metal cover from another pan. This bread was a huge hit at a dinner party I attended. Making one right now with roasted garlic, thyme, roasted tomatoes and olives. Thanks for making bread baking so easy.

  46. AMAZING!!! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. I adore olive bread but don’t buy it because I only eat organic and only consume sprouted grains, and store bought breads have processed ingredients and preservatives (yuck). So now I once again can indulge in my favorite bread. I substituted whole spelt sprouted flour (just used less than recipe called for, about 2 1/2 cups) and It turned out perfect! Thanks again!!!!

  47. Hi, Quick question:

    I made this loaf today. The crust is fantastic, however the interior is not as dry as I’d like…I couldn’t leave it in the oven longer because the top of the bread was getting too dark, what should I do next time?

  48. Thank you for a great recipe. It came out great the first time even though it was a bit too soft on the inside, I think I used too many olives. I would like to make it in smaller loaves, so if I make half the recipe at a time would I still bake it at 500 degrees?

    1. Hey Ray, yea… if you make smaller loaves, keep the temp the same but reduce cooking time by about 10 minutes. Should work great! Good luck!

  49. Tried this with a bit of garlic, salt, and sugar and it tasted marvelous too! Loved the texture of the bubbly bread.

  50. Hi there!
    I’m a first time bread maker so I have almost no idea what I’m doing and your recipe looks soooo good… so, I’m going to try!
    Just wondering what your room temperature is. Reason being is that I’m living in tropical weather where it’s fairly consistently about 86 degrees Farenheit and humid. Does this affect the resting time? Would it still be ok for me to leave my dough outside for 16-18 hours? Thanks!!

    1. Hey Julie,

      You could probably a little less on the rise time. Maybe around 14 hours. I used to make the bread in DC in the summer and it would be pretty hot and humid in my apartment. Not sure the exact temp but it’s flexible enough that you should be okay. :)

      Good luck!

  51. pot check, oven therm check, hot oven check, dough (after 20+hrs) check, good smelling aroma check, walnut colored bread after lid removal with 20min’s to go check, take out of oven and cool for hour check, slice it open-raw dough…cooked beautifully exterior, raw interior…bummer, no bread tonight!! Nick, what happened??

    1. Hmmm… that’s sucks! The only thing I can think of is that maybe your olives were too wet or your dough was too wet which led to it not baking correctly. Everything looks right to me so unless your oven is too low which is sounds like you had under control, the only thing that would equal undercooked bread is if the dough was too wet.

      Maybe next time dry your olives off really good before mixing them in? That’s the only thing I can think of… or add on five minutes to the cooking time with the lid so it doesn’t get too browned.

      Sorry it didn’t work out… that’s a bummer!

  52. Hi Nick,

    i do have a dutch oven, but the lid is not suitable for oven temperatures, can i cover with aluminum foil? or do you suggest any thing else to cover the dough with? Thanks, would love to make this soon :)

    1. sorry just additional info, the lid that comes with the dutch oven looks and sounds like aluminum, will it be suitable for oven temp?

      1. Hmm… I don’t think I can advise on that without knowing the exact model for your dutch oven. Even then you should probably call the manufacturer. I can say that my cast iron lid is only rated for heat up to 450 because of the knob which is plastic, but I use it for 500 degrees for 30 minutes for this bread and it works fine.

  53. What a mess. I don’t think I will be trying this again, will see how it bakes up. Really I work and make tradition breads all the time I don’t see the point of doing this unless the bread is that much better.

  54. On the off chance that anybody with a question about pots/pans is reading down this far, if you don’t want to use your Le Creuset there is a cheaper option which even, I think, works slightly better. I use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid (which is also a skillet). You can use it either way, with the ‘pot’ on top or the ‘lid’ on top. Both are flat, and they nest at the lip. You can pre-heat the lid right along with the rest of it, heat will radiate down from there. I never bothered seasoning mine, either. It’s about $50, got mine at Amazon.

    1. Awesome. Thanks for the tip Sarvi. I agree that there are a lot of very good pots out there that are cheaper than the le creuset option.

  55. Hi… Just came across no-knead bread today, looking for an loie bread recipe as part of housewarming gift… Much as I love Le Creuset (my mum has a 40 yr old casserole pot that’s still going strong), their products are expensive! Ikea now has some ceramic pots.. I don’t have me, so can’t vouch for their quality, but it might be worth a shot!

  56. Oh… And thanks for the recipe… It looks amazing.. Will definitely be doing it for said housewarming hamper for best friend! :)

  57. Amazing recipe, worked out perfectly…and it was the first time I’ve ever made bread. Feeling well chuffed. Thanks!

  58. This is the 3rd weekend in a row that I’ve made this bread – it’s just that good! I’ve been using a blend of the suggested kalamata olives with oil cured olives (carefully pitted of course). They add their own briney goodness and a hint of their distinctive flavor. The hardest part for me is having to wait the 20 hours until I can have a slice!

  59. Thanks for your recipe. I love olive bread so I couldn’t wait to try this (Clear flour in Boston has an amazing one!). It came out perfectly-such a great texture and crunchy crust! I also didn’t have the right lid so I just used an aluminum pie plate on top of my cast iron skillet and it was fine, although next time I’ll also use one of the suggestions here for parchment paper (as the dough stuck to the towel a bit, even though I thought I used plenty of flour and cornmeal). My future breads using this recipe might include cinnamon raisin and peach cinnamon, in addition to experimenting with herbs for the olive bread.

    1. Okay, one day later I made a raisin cinnamon version that turned out delicious–with an inside texture as good as the best cinnamon raisin bagel you can find in NYC! And, the outside texture was so wonderfully crunchy. I used 3/4 c. hot water and let it cool to room temp. I added the raisins to the flour mix (w/out drying them), also added about 3/4 cups roughly chopped pecans, then added more water to the raisin water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. And, I put salt back into this recipe. So good!

  60. The olive bread is both delicious and easy to make. Your instructions were excellent.

    I bought a 6.9 qt. nonstick Dutch oven by IMUSA at Target for $23 which is perfect.

    The next time I make it, I will use some salt, and I will try dusting the olives with flour. Although I dried the olives in paper towels for an hour, I felt the bread was too moist around them. A cup and a half is a lot of olives, but of course, that is the thing that makes this olive bread so great.

    I will try using the parchment to put the dough into the pot, because getting the bread into the HOT pot is a bit intimidating. However, I liked using the towel and will do that first and then turn the bread onto the parchment.


  61. I made as described, and bake in a La Cresseut casserole. Turned out a little to crunchy and the cornbread dust made a bad smell from burning. Great taste.

    Any suggestions, maybe cook a little less?

      1. I cooked another loaf with sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan chants and prosciutto and lowered the temp to 450 and it turned out great. Maybe my oven is hotter than the setting. Yes I did use the lid


        1. Ah. That could absolutely happen Roy. My old oven always ran 50-75 degrees hot.
          Sounds like you have it solved though!

  62. Hi Nick,

    I baked this bread the other day and it came out incredibly well (it’s only my second time baking bread). Thank you for the recipe. I was just wondering if I can substitute the white flour for wholewheat flour? Do I need to change the quantity or water content?

    1. Hey Jen, you can substitute half of the white flour for whole wheat without any other adjustments. That’s actually how I make it these days also. :)

  63. Hola! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you
    a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  64. I’m trying out your recipe today… do I really have to let it stand for 18hours??
    (if so…you should change preparation time) (I chose this recipe because it was the fastest…turns out to be wrong)

    Also my oven is convection… do I still put it up to 500 degrees?

    Thank you

    1. Hey Leeza. Sorry yea… I usually just add “plus rise time” to the total times because rise time can vary. For a good no knead bread like this I would say the minimum you need to let it rise is 8-10 hours.

      I’ve never cooked it in a convection oven to be honest, but I think I would keep the temp the same assuming you are using a sturdy dutch oven.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the reply,

        I let it rise for 18h and cooked it at 550 convection…took a little less time than the one you suggested…came out amazing !!
        Going to try another recipe for sure


  65. Hi Nick!

    This is a very tempting and interesting recipe. I definitely want to try it. However, I should appreciate it if you would clear up two things:

    1) When you say that you roll the dough from the towel into the preheated pot, sounds like the bottom of the pot should be completely dry. Won’t the dough stick and eventually burn? I have a 5-qt Le Creuset enameled Dutch oven (albeit oval not round) and I am a bit worried by several posts here complaining about the bottom of the bread burning.

    2) Also, I have a convection oven. As you know, in convection ovens heat is distributed evenly in the oven space. My question is: Should I reduce the heat from 500 to, say 470 (or so)?

    I thank you in advance for your assistance with this query.

    1. Hey Alex, yep… I just turn the dough (which is very wet) into the dry pot. A few people have complained of burning, but I’ve never had that issue and always ended up with a perfectly golden crust. The dough doesn’t stick to the hot pan.

      On the convection you are right. I would reduce the heat by 25 degrees or so.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks much, Nick.

        In other words, you confirm that the wet dough has to drop right onto the extremely hot bottom of the pot. Reading the recipe, I was really afraid it would stick firm and burn. In one of the similar bread recipes, the author suggests to put the pot (she was also doing it in an old Le Creuset w/ a black plastic knob on the lid) on a pizza stone. Do you think this will protect the bottom a bit?

        1. Hey Alex, yep… that’s how I’ve always done it and how I learned to do it from the NY Times version of the recipe. I’ve never had any issues with sticking or anything.

          I don’t think the pizza stone method protects the pot really… I think the purpose of that is to actually keep the pot hotter for longer. You are essentially doubling the thickness of the cooking surface so it can retain more heat. Cast iron is a sturdy material though. It shouldn’t be damaged by cooking bread in it.

  66. Fantastic! Made it once and will again for my Christmas Eve table.

    Wonderful rustic texture and taste.


    1. There is a print button at the top of the recipe on the upper right hand corner, next to a save button.

  67. Made this exactly per directions, but baked it in a stoneware baker with a lid instead of a pot. It turned out great! Chewy crust, soft middle and lots of olive pieces. I will make this again and perhaps try some of the variations suggested by other readers!

  68. I made a loaf similar to this recipe (no olives). I used a glass corning ware lidded casserole dish. I heated both the lid and dish at only 450 degrees. When to temp, added the bread, recovered and baked 30 minutes, removed lid and baked 15 minutes more. It was a bronzed beauty.

    I will put olives in it next time with some walnuts. Sounds good!

  69. i made this and it turned out great, but there was no salt flavor to speak of–and I like my bread salty! I think the olives that I used maybe were not brined (they were from a jar with ‘olive juice’, so will have to try again with kalamata. I’m wondering about how much salt would be good to add, 1/2 tsp?


    1. Heya, yea… try it again with good, brined kalamata olives. They are really salty so if you use those you don’t nee to add extra salt. Good luck!

  70. Hi, is 500F or 500C? I don’t have the pot you mentioned. Can I use corning ware? I read that It is ok for up to 350C? thank you very much

Leave a Comment