Olive Bread

Olive bread recipe using Jim Lahey's no knead bread technique results in a super crunchy crust and perfect crumb. Really easy to make and easier to eat!

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).

Olive Bread

Olive bread recipe using Jim Lahey’s no knead bread technique results in a super crunchy crust and perfect crumb. Really easy to make and easier to eat!
3.52 from 203 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breads
Servings 10 Servings
Yield 1 Loaf


  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 ½ Cup Kalamata Olives pitted, drained, roughly chopped
  • ¾ Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ Cups cool water


  • Drain the olives and pat them dry. Roughly chop and make sure that all the olives actually don’t have pits.
  • Mix yeast and flour together in a large bowl and then toss in the chopped olives
  • Add water and mix everything together using your hands or a large spoon.
  • Cover this and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cover with the towel and let the loaf ferment and proof for another two hours.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.


From Jim Lahey’s My Bread.


Serving: 1SliceCalories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 319mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 0.001mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Easy Homemade Bread, Homemade Bread, no knead bread, Olive Bread

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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!

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Coconut White Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

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Coffee Coffee Cake

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268 Responses to “Olive Bread” Leave a comment

  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.

    1. What temp were you cooking at? I went to try this, but my parchment paper was only rated to 450. Perhaps a different brand of paper would have higher rating.

      1. All parchment papers are rated at 450….but don’t worry about it…,That’s just for the lawyers….

  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)

    1. If you’re going to buy a round enameled pot think about going to Sam’s Club. I got a beauty there for only $39 instead of the rip-off from some of the others. Nice and heavy. Becoming one of my favorite cooking and bread vessels.

      1. Yes, many vessels are okay as long as they are deep enough and can handle high heat up to 450 F. If it’s deep and takes high heat then it’s good for some of the long rise artisan type breads. Remember, making a bolle’ is a fun alternative to a loaf shape !

    1. Yes. the toms work great. Last summer I had so many cherry toms. that I used my dehydrator to dry them and then put them in olive oil and froze them. I thaw and rinse them and put them in the bread. Yum.

  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


      2. 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?

      2. 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

      1. Thank you so much! I was a little nerve-wracked, but excitedly so. The no knead olive bread turned out wonderfully and was a big hit.
        My own problem – I should have waited until I got a replacement knob for my dutch oven, but now I will go buy a cool replacement.
        Can’t wait to try the original no knead and other versions as well.
        Bread. Yum!!!

  71. If I wanted to use sourdough starter in the recipe, how much would I use? Would that take place of the 3/4 tsp of active dry yeast? Followed your recipe and just pulled my first loaf out of the oven. Looks amazing and tastes delicious. Thank you so much. Leslie

    1. Hey Leslie, I’m not sure I can offer much advice there b/c sourdough starters can vary a lot. At a complete guess, I would say take the starter amount you would use for a normal loaf and use 1/3 of it since you let it rise for so long. Good luck!

    2. I ALWAYS use sourdough in all my breads. I use 1 cup of sourdough – 1/2 the yeast, then reduce the flour by 3/4 cup and reduce the water by 3 oz or 3/8 cup.
      So, for this recipe, use 3/8 tsp yeast, 2 1/4 cup flour and 9 oz water or 1 cup plus 2 TBS.

      1. Thank you Zee for this recipe with the sourdough starter. It tirns out really good.

      2. My experience is that if your starter is active you don’t, or even want, any yeast in the dough.

  72. Hi Nick, First, let me say congratulation on your cookbook! I made the olive bread yesterday and I have questions. When I took it out of the towel to place in the hot pot, some of the dough stuck to the towel. And when we cut into the bread last night it appeared that it could/or should have possibly cooked a little longer. Not that we didn’t eat half the loaf! Should I have added more flour when I was rolling it? Or should I have baked it longer with the lid on? When I took the lid off, it was already somewhat brown so I only baked it for another 10 minutes cause I didn’t want it to burn and also the color at that point looked good. My husband thinks I should reduce the amount of olives that they created moisture. DEFINITELY going to make it again!

    1. Hey Judy!
      Glad you like the book. If the dough is sticking to the towel, you should be using more to dust the towel. It should pretty easily come off. On the cook time, I think you need to probably add 10 minutes onto the baking time. I usually bake mine for 15-20 minutes with the lid off. The bread will look pretty dark after 10 minutes but it levels off and doesn’t get a lot darker in the extra 5-10 minutes. You could also add that time to the covered time though!
      That should definitely solve the problem. I’m not sure I would reduce the olive amount just because that’s what makes it good. :)

  73. I want to make this with all white whole wheat or all whole wheat. Should I add more yeast or more water or both? This will be my first attempt at making bread. Thanks!

    1. Heya, shouldn’t be a problem. Yea… you might need an extra 1/2 cup of water or so. It should be really wet. If you want to have sure success for your first loaf, you can do half bread flour and half whole wheat… that’s what I typically do and it works great. Good luck!

    1. Yep Marshall. 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45-50 minutes makes for a perfect loaf. Remember that the first 30 minutes of baking the loaf is covered in a cast iron pot. It’s a really wet dough and can hold up to this kind of heat. It makes a fantastic loaf. Give it a shot!

  74. My first attempt didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. It came out pretty flat, but I think it’s due to the fact I let it sit for too long, over 20 hours (I didn’t time it well to start). I also didn’t like how moist it still is in the middle after baking since it has the texture of being undercooked (the outside is perfect). Would it turn out “drier” if the temp was lower and baked for longer without the lid? Thanks so much for the recipe.

    1. Hey Debbie, to me it sounds like your oven might be a bit cool. Do you have a separate oven thermometer you could use to check the temp? A hot oven will cause the bread to puff and then hold and will cook it evenly through. If definitely shouldn’t be doughy in the center, but 50 minutes at 500 degrees really should do the trick.
      Another thought… if you cut into it too quickly after baking, it might not have time to completely finish cooking. I always let mine cool for at least 30-45 minutes before slicing into it. Sorry it didn’t work perfectly for ya.

  75. Awesome bread, I also tried substituting the olives for caramelized onions (and added some salt) and it was absolutely delicious. Try it! :-)

  76. I am never moved enough to offer comments in cyber space but whereas this is the fourth time I have made this bread in the last month, I am moved to say how fantastic and easy this recipe is. Apparently I am well behind the mainstream because I had never heard of no knead bread, but having recently come from NC where I happened upon a wonderful olive bread, And subsequently googled that topic, your recipe came up. I have shared the recipe and your site with many others. All offer rave reviews. Wonderful, wonderful, easy and super delicious. Thank you.

  77. is it absolutely necessary to cover it with a lid while baking? can i , maybe, cover it with aluminum foil paper instead? i don’t have the quite tool yet… just wondering, thanks.

    and i plan to use bread machine to do the mixing and rising… what do you think?

    or can i let it rise in the fridge? really hot where i live, maybe not a good idea to let it stay out…

    thanks so much :)

  78. I’ve been making this bread for several months now and always a hit. I was hungry for olive bread and tried store bought but it did not hold a candle to this absolutely delicious home-made bread. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  79. Hi Nick, I must’ve done something wrong cause my dough came out really wet when folding it, thus making it difficult. I had to use an enourmously generous amount of flour to get it close to workable. Anyway, my bread came out quite dense and seem kinda wet inside, not fuffly like a bread. What do u think I’ve done wrong?

    1. Hey Vera, it sounds like maybe you added too much liquid or maybe didn’t drain the olives enough. Not sure exactly. The dough should be fairly wet and you shouldn’t be able to knead it (hence no-knead), but it sounds like yours was maybe too wet.
      On the dense finish, that could be due to the extra liquid as well or if your yeast isn’t alive you’ll end up with a dense loaf. Feel free to email me if you have other questions or want to talk specifics. Sometimes it helps if you send me a photo or two ([email protected]) and I can usually help diagnose what’s going on. Cheers!

  80. Thank you Nick for sharing this recipe. I bake my first Olive Bread and it was a big success!

  81. Such an easy & wonderful recipe! During the holidays my family and I always drive down to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to pick up our Christmas meal ingredients which happens to include a loaf of olive bread. This year we will certainly be making our own! Thank you for the new tradition.

  82. Hi Nick!

    I find certain steps in this recipe quite tricky for someone who has never baked bread:

    1) I am afraid that if I sprinkle the towel with flour and corn meal “liberally” as you suggest, the dough may stick to it, especially since you instruct to cover it with the towel and let it proof (while it is covered by the towel) for another 2 hours. This is my first concern.

    2) As a novice, I find the next step even more challenging. You’re saying that the proofed dough must now be “rolled” into the hot pot. Sounds easy for an experienced baker, but how do I ensure that the proofed dough neatly drops inside the center of the pot in one piece without getting stuck to the sides of the “blazing hot” pot (esp. if it sticks to the towel)? Will the dough still be gooey after proofing in the towel?

    3) May I also add fresh rosemary along with olives? Won’t it affect the proofing time?

    Hope you don’t mind me asking these beginner’s questions.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Hey Yuri! Sorry for not replying to your email. I do my best to get to all those, but it’s always better to leave a comment like this so others can benefit also. :) To your questions which are all great questions.
      1) The dough will actually stick if you DONT flour it liberally. The flour keeps the dough from sticking to the towel and also forms a crust of sorts on the loaf.
      2) To be honest, it probably won’t drop neatly inside the center of the pan. Mine rarely does… sometimes it’s smooshed to one side. You kind of just have to take a leap of faith and roll it into the pan. It’s pretty hard to adjust it once it’s in there though. However you get it in there, don’t worry about it. It will even out as it bakes and will not affect the baking at all.
      3) Sure. Rosemary is fine. I would go light on it as it’s a strong flavor. It wouldn’t affect proofing time at all or any of the other directions.
      Good luck!

      1. If you use bakers’ parchment paper to line the proofing container, with enough extra to hang over the sides, you can then easily lift the raw loaf into the hot baking container.
        An extra benefit is that the finished loaf will be easy to remove from the baking container.

        Don Cuevas

  83. Thanks much, Nick. This is helpful.

    More questions re some details.

    1) In this or similar recipes where the dough is extra soft (almost runny) even after proofing would you prefer to use cotton towels of a particular type/weave? Does it really matter?

    2) Since I do not have a round Dutch oven, I’ll use my oval Creuset with enameled inside coating. Won’t the dough stick firmly to the bottom, possibly damaging its inside surface.

    1. Hey Yuri, I usually use cotton towels but probably any clean towel will work fine. Re: the pot, I also use an enameled Creuset pot. Works fine and comes out always with no sicking. The pan gets really hot so the dough sears immediately on contact. Give it a shot!

  84. Thanks again, Nick.

    Forgot to ask you one thing about the towel. Do you usually fold it in a particular way to make the dropping-the-dough-into-the-pot process easier? Any particular technique here?

    Sorry for so many follow-ups.

  85. Now that you wished me good luck, I realized that I should’ve checked with you one critical thing – the baking temperature. In this recipe you instruct to bake the loaf at

  86. Sorry, pressed “Post comment” too fast.

    What I wanted to say is that now that you wished me good luck, I realized that I should’ve checked with you one critical thing – the baking temperature. In this recipe you instruct to bake the loaf in the oven at 500°F. Did you mean the conventional bake mode or convection mode? I understand that if I do it in the convection mode the baking time should be cut. I have also tried to double-check this and found the following on “The Fresh Loaf” site:

    “… It is also possible to reduce the baking time by about 15-20%. So if you are running the oven in convection mode but are using a conventional recipe, reduce the time. A 40 minute baking time becomes about 32 (-20%) minutes. That way you don’t have to do mental gymnastics and guess temperatures.”

    Personally, I use the convection mode more often as it heats up faster and distributes heat around the cooked food more evenly. So which baking mode does your recipe call for?

    1. Yuri, the oven method shouldn’t really affect it because you are baking it in an enclosed pot. You are essentially making an oven inside an oven so convection or traditional heat won’t matter as the loaf isn’t coming into direct contact with the circulating air.

      I think you just need to pull the trigger and try a loaf… Good luck!

  87. Have to admit that I am just a bit intimidated about stepping up and actually doing it. But I will.

  88. I don’t have a Dutch oven, but I’ve had some baking success using a clay cooker pot (romertopf). Do you have any tips for me? I imagine as long as the pot holds heat, there shouldn’t be much to change, but I thought I’d ask. Thanks!

    1. Hey Dave, I think it would totally work although I’ve never actually tried it. You’re right though that holding the heat is the most important part. Also, I’m not sure what the temp limits are on the clay pot but if you can’t get it quite as hot as the recipe calls for, it should still be fine. Good luck!

  89. I love!!! No-Knead bread and cannot wait to try the olive version. My quick tip = I dump my dough out on a floured piece of parchment paper, let it rise there (covered by a bowl) , and place it in the dutch oven with the parchment paper underneath. Comes out perfectly and less contact with the hotness! Cheers!!

  90. I just made this bread and it is amazing!!! The best bread I have ever made or eaten. It looks just like the picture, was crunchy on the outside and nice and chewy inside. I can’t wait to try variations of this recipe. After removing the lid I only left it in for 10 min. more. I think it was probably done at 30 min. I’m sure all depends on your oven. The dutch oven is a must though. I put mine on top of my bread baking stone. I don’t know if that made any difference but I was just concerned the bottom of the bread might burn at 500 degrees.

  91. I was a bread virgin until yesterday, having never baked bread before. Ever. This was my first and it turned out ridiculously well. I substituted all whole wheat with no trouble. The only complaint heard was that the loaf seriously needed salt added to the dough. I guess my olives weren’t as salty as others, though they seemed to when I tasted them. My cooking vessel of choice was a Calphalon stock pot (no dutch oven). It baked at 525°F for 30 + 10 and had perfect results.

    Thanks for the fantastic first experience!

  92. After my 18 proof it was almost soupy, so beware of flour measures. I made into baguettes baked on sedated baguette pan and that didn’t give me the great air pockets. Ended up a bit too dense. But becuz of the long proof the flavor was still very good.

  93. I have a question…can this dough be made and frozen for another time?
    If so how would I do that please ? My uncle took me to an Italian bakery in the North End of Boston and introduced me to this olive bread and it was amazing!! I really want to make some for my family on Thanksgiving !!

    1. Hi Rose, To be honest, I’ve never tried to freeze the dough but MOST doughs will freeze okay so it’s probably worth a shot. You can also freeze the loaf after you bake it for longer storage. It loses a bit of its texture after thawing but is still pretty great, especially if you toast it. Good luck!

    1. I use a Tremontina 5.5 qt. I got at Sam’s for $39. It’s a champ for a lot less than some of the higher priced brands. I’ve also used a cast aluminum one that’s oval shaped and it works just fine, too.

  94. Thank-you! I have a 6 quart enameled Dutch oven and wanted to make sure it wasn’t too big. Very excited to try this recipe :-)

  95. We have been mourning the fact that we can’t get olive bread near where we live in Wisconsin. We lived at one time in Berkeley, CA and then in Paris for a while. In both places the olive bread and just breads in general are to die for. I saw your blog and decided to try this recipe. It turned out AMAZING on the first try. My son said he thought I could easily sell it and my niece from France said it was better than anything in Paris! That’s a bold statement and high praise – so thank you for the fabulous recipe.


  96. Excited to try this but was just wondering if I can leave the dough out longer than 18 hours? Forgot to calculated the time needed after the 18 hours as I need to be at work then.

    1. Hey Jenny, absolutely. I’ve done it with up to 24 hours of sit time without issue. Haven’t gone longer than that though… Good luck!

      1. I did put it in the fridge after about 10 hours and before i baked it, left it out at room temperature for a a couple of hours before I dumped it out onto parchment. It turned out great.

  97. Thank you Jim for a wonderful recipe. Bread is on its first rise but I’m concerned it’s not
    wet enough. Is it too late to add more water now? Thank you

    1. Hey Joyce, if you mix it in well, you could probably add a bit more liquid without too much worry. Just don’t over do it! Good luck!

    1. Hi Joyce,
      My name is Nick, not Jim. :)
      There’s no need to pre-heat the baking sheet, but you should preheat the oven. Good luck!

  98. Nick:
    Darn near fool proof. I used regular flour (not bread flour) and a yeast packet that “expired” in 2008. Cast iron Dutch Oven too. Still came out yummy. I tied a variation where you drain the brine juice into the bead and cut back on the water. Ended up with brine of a 6 oz. dry measure can and 3/4 cup water. 20 minutes then uncover for 15. 30 and then 15 for a crisper crust. Thanks!

  99. Hi Nick,
    I have been baking your bread recipe for over a week now and have altered the ingredients, using roasted garlic and dry jack cheese instead of olives. It’s a hit. After baking the olive bread , I did however add one tsp of salt to the Kalamata bread the second time, which really enhanced the olive flavor in the bread. Thanks for your “bread wisdom.”

  100. Could you bake the bread in a cast iron skillet with no lid? The specs for my ceramic Dutch oven say not to go over 450 degrees, so I hesitate to do that. Thanks!

    1. Hey Katherine, you definitely can but it won’t get quite the same crust. Not sure exactly what brand of dutch oven you have (email me if you want to chat offline). The temp specs for almost all dutch ovens though are JUST because the knob on the lid is made of a hardened plastic. You can get a metal replacement knob for a few bucks on Amazon and screw it on and then your dutch oven can handle the heat without issue. If you want help, shoot me an email with your brand. Good luck!

  101. I just started to bake. I loooooveeeee olive bread. My favorite. I will definitely try this. Sounds so good.

  102. Nick, what size dutch oven is to be used. I have I believe a 3 qt dutch oven, is that going to be too small?

    1. Hey Morgan, I usually use a 5-6 qt. dutch oven. 3 qt. is too small for this full recipe, but you could cut the dough in half and make a smaller loaf in it for sure. If you do that you can probably take 10 minutes off the cooking time. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the info Nick. I got very lucky today. I opened a seldom used cupboard looking for a big enough dutch oven and found a 6 qt cast iron dutch oven that I don’t even remember owning. Where did that come from? Good thing cuz I was about to buy one. Bread is rising now. Looking for some good eats to go along with the country ribs.

  103. Just sliced into my olive loaf OMG, OMG, OMG it is DELICIOUS. Texture is perfect, nice and crusty. I have never made no-knead bread before but I am definitely a convert. Although kneading does help work out those frustrations LOL.

  104. I’ve made this multiple times and it is one of my favorite loaves. Up until now, I’ve always used my Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven. The problem is that it’s strangely flaking. I guess I should call the Lodge folks about that. In the meantime, what do you suggest I use? I have another Dutch oven, which is enameled, however the lid has a knob that doesn’t seem like it will tolerate heat. Should I just use foil? Or should I just stick with a baking sheet? And if so, does the temp change at all?
    I don’t remember how far in advance I’ve made this, but if I bake it a few in advance will it become stale? Thanks so much!

  105. Attempt #2 for this loaf is in the oven right now! I don’t have a pan so I have been using the alternative instructions with a pizza stone.

    Both times making it the dough certainly turned into a bubbly mess but it was very very sticky – in no way could I form a ball like this: http://cdn.macheesmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/doughrising_550.jpg

    The dough after trying to form a ball was very saggy and after it goes through it’s final proof pretty much a flat blob that sticks to the towel and is difficult to get into the oven.

    Loaf #1 was very tasty but they both quite unattractive.

    – does too much liquid sound right for my symptoms?
    – can I have it do it’s final proof on a sheet of parchment paper and then plop that right into the oven for baking? Or does that defeat the point of pre-heating the pizza stone?

    I’m going to go buy more olives and try again with less water. I’m determined to figure this bread out!

    1. Hey Danielle!
      I love your enthusiasm and am happy to help. If you snap some photos of your bread at trouble stages and email them to me ([email protected]) I can probably be even more help…
      To answer your questions quickly:
      1) YES. I think it sounds like you are adding too much water. To be honest, this is rarely a problem people have.. most people don’t add enough. I’m not sure what could be accounting for this, but it does sound like your dough is too wet. The only other thing is that your yeast could be dead, but if you’re seeing bubbles that probably isn’t the case.
      2) You can, BUT the parchment paper will absolutely smoke and possibly burn when you transfer it to the pizza stone. That’s why the towel method (and flip) is really best which typically is no problem if you can get the dough right.
      In short… I’d love to see a photo… Also, to be honest, the pot is SO much easier than a pizza stone. Put a lodge dutch oven ($65) on your wishlist for Christmas and it’ll make everything easier. I’ve had loaves that are too wet, but they end up okay because they just bake in the pot…

      1. Less water was the key! I use a cup and a smidge or so.
        I got pretty good at making it on a pizza stone but then finally got a dutch oven which makes a huge difference!

        The only other change from your recipe is that I dont measure the olives. I just use a full jar which makes plenty of olives in the bread.

        I love this bread – my favorite is to toast it with poached egg on top – so good! <3


    2. #1 – Yes, you can keep it for a few days. If you want it warm just wrap it in foil and reheat in the oven at 225 for 15-20 mins. Really killer if you slice it almost all the way thru and use a basting brush to coat each side with a mixture of olive oil and garlic powder. Yummmmm.

      #2 – Add more flour or reduce the water to make a dough that’s more firm and less gooey. Don’t let it rise too long or it turns to juice !

  106. Love this recipe! Have made it a number of times and always a hit!!! Add a lot more olives and it’s an instant appetizer!!! The olives are important — want to use the best. I use a mix from the olive bar at Wegmans — mostly kalamata but throw in some green as well. Everyone’s asking me for the recipe! Buying the cast iron dutch oven was sooo worth it. Actually, got it at Sears and they had a buy one get one deal so I can now make the bread at both of our homes!!! Thank you!

  107. OMG, if you just follow the instructions above, you’ll get amazing bread. Don’t cheat. I wanted to proof the bread at 12 hours, but I got distracted and waited for 18 hours. What a difference.

    This was my first with this process so I was patient, and that was my gift, it is EXACTLY as described if you just follow the instructions above.

    Savor the work of the predecessors! Yea!

  108. I just made this bread, I used canned olives, since it was the first time I was making this bread I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive ones. The crust came really soft and the bread tastes really bland. I wonder if I needed to add salt to the dough since the olives I used were not very salty. My question is, do I need to use any salt for this recipe next time I make it? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hey Angel,
      I wouldn’t recommend making this bread with the canned black olives. It’s not worth it. I would use kalamata olives or just leave the olives out entirely and use the non-olive recipe (https://www.macheesmo.com/life-changing-bread/)
      The canned olives are just an entirely different thing and they definitely won’t work in this recipe. Good luck!

  109. Just mixed up a bath of dough and am going to forget about it for 18 hours. Can’t wait to try this one out. Using my trusty enameled cast iron pot from Costco (I have another oval shaped one from Cost Plus). (such a great investment, especially for oven-baked chili and roast chickens)(the heavy lid makes them an epic rice cooker too)

  110. Hi Nick. I just got back from a trip to London and Paris. In Paris I had an awesome sandwich made with crusty olive bread. I have to make it. I have Jim Lahey’ s book and have made his regular bread many times, but thought I’d try the internet. I like the look of your bread better than his. I must try it. Thanks for posting.

      1. I made two loaves this morning Nick. They look great. Can’t wait to cut in. Wanted to send you a picture but can’t figure out how to do that. I’ll let you know how they turned out, statewide.

  111. Excellent bread. I took it to work and I barely got a piece myself. The structure is beautiful. It came out better the our local bakery, and that’s saying something. By the way, I’m baking some more, now, to go with stuffed shells for dinner tonight. Bon Appetite’

  112. Can I turn this into rolls? If so how? What would be the cooking time and temp to bake it at? And would there be any changes to the recipe?

    1. I don’t know how long to bake but I’d use an instant read thermometer to be sure it about 190 deg. F, just like your regular bread temp. My guess would be about 1/2 the loaf time. Check temp. every 10 mins.

      Great idea for making the rolls. Can just imagine them with spaghetti with red sauce or tomato soup.

    2. Hey Margaret, I haven’t done this exact recipe before but I’ve made “rustic rolls” out of a normal noknead bread recipe. Should be pretty similar. In theory it should definitely work. You shouldn’t need to change the recipe, but the rolls will be hard to shape because the dough is so wet so you’ll want to use a lot of flour. Tough to say on cooking time. You’ll just have to check them. I would say 20-25 minutes would be a good guess though! Good luck!

  113. Your recipe was great. We wouldn’t have even attempted an olive loaf without your experience. Thank you. Wanted to post a picture but couldn’t see how.

  114. I could not find bread flour in Ralph’s of all places, so I bought all purpose flour. Will that work? I’m a pretty good baker, but only bake sweets and been scared of baking bread. So, I’m super excited that I found your website and this recipe.

    1. Hey Sakeena! It definitely will work. The crumb won’t be quite as nice b/c all-purpose flour doesn’t have the same gluten content as bread flour. It will definitely work though!

  115. Hi, I made this delicious olive bread today. It turned out fantastic!
    It is the easiest bread I have ever made. It tastes as good or better than that of an Italian bakery.
    I did everything that the recipe said except I added sun dried tomatoes to the olives.
    Oh my what a treat!
    The wait is certainly worth it.
    Thank you again,

    1. Heya! I’ve only ever used bread flour, but 00 flour does have a higher gluten content than all-purpose so it’d be better than that for sure, I think. Good luck!

  116. If it were me, I’d start with only 1/2 00 flour. It’s really good using 1/2 in pizza dough.
    Please let me know if you try and and how it works?

  117. Wow thanks so much for the recipe! I used 100% whole wheat flour, 2Tb more water, and it is delicious! My daughter, who requested an olive loaf, gives it 2 thumbs up! I was skeptical of no knead at first, but i tried it anyway. I just sub 100% whole wheat flour and it always turns out great!

    In fact I’m starting to think that no-knead is superior for whole wheat, because normally whole wheat requires a lot of kneading and the slow rises circumvent that nicely. Perfect for me, who doesn’t have a mixer and must do any kneading by hand. Not that i mind kneading that much, but the amount required for a good ww loaf was too much with 2 kids underfoot.

    Oh and i don’t add any extra flour after the initial mixing. I just use a pastry scraper to handle the dough and it works like a charm!

  118. I have been doing NK bread for years. I just had a friend request olive bread so here I am. I modified it a bit, adding in some semolina flour instead of all white flour. I also did a mixture of kalamata and oil cured olives, chopped coarsely. And the little oil in the bottom of the container was added as well. It is now in the oven and I am anxious to see how it turns out.

  119. Just made this and it turned out delicious, 5 star! So easy and simple. I only used 1 tsp of yeast..if I use 3/4 will the loaf be bigger?

    I added 1 tsp of salt and glad I did! The olives gives it an extra saltines and bite and it’s so good. I used sliced black olives right out of the can and didn’t chop it bc I was lazy and it turned out just great. Next time I’ll experiment with some cheese :)

    Thank you for the great recipe!

  120. This is my go-to bread recipe. I have been making it for the last 5 years and it never fails. Thank you for this. :)

  121. Hello! I baked this on a weekly basis all winter and up to a few weeks ago, with complete success. Now however, it’s gotten warmer and more humid indoors, and the bread doesn’t rise as much once cooked (it’s just flatter overall) and it even sticks to the kitchen towel upon dropping it into the cocotte. For some reason, also, the seam becomes invisible then and after baking. Any advice? I’m really not up for trying the hardcore kneading levain version of making bread, this was so easy…

    1. Hey Pauline! That can def happen. It’d try two things… first, try lowering the amount of liquid a bit, maybe by 1/4-1/3 of a cup. That’ll firm it up some. Also, maybe try reducing the second rise time some. The yeast goes crazy in a humid hot environment so you might be over-proofing it on the second rise. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  122. Wow, I just made a batch today and it hasn’t risen at all after the first rise time!! How can this happen? I did everything I usually do, but it really the same as it was last night. Impossible to even try a second rise.

  123. Made this tonight for our Christmas Eve dinner party. It was amazing!!! We served it with cream of mushroom soup and the entire loaf was gone in less than 30 minutes. I have a feeling this will become a staple at our dinner parties. Thanks so much!

  124. This sounds delicious! I hope olive bread is a bit more common now that it’s been ten years since this post! If I have sourdough starter, can I use that in place of the yeast? I’m only on my third loaf from my starter and still learning. Thanks!

    1. Hey Megan! Yes! This is an old one. I need to update it actually… luckily the laws of bread haven’t changed much. :) Absolutely you could use a starter in place of the yeast. It should work great. Just give it time to make sure it rises! Good luck!

  125. Morning Nick,

    Haven’t heard any comment yet (know how busy you are) regarding my first e-mail
    3/12/19. Loved your olive bread but it was dense. Aesthetically it was perfect….
    impressed my guests but….what did I do wrong? Anxious to make it again but
    don’t want to repeat my mistakes. Thanks Nick

    1. Hey Joyce!

      Sorry. I thought I emailed you back but maybe it got stuck somewhere. Anyway, here is my reply on it! It’s a tricky one!

      Well, I’m glad you liked it but sorry to hear about the dense texture. Yes. You are right that it should have a nice airy texture in the crumb of the loaf. I don’t think this would be pot related although possibly because it does help to cook it in an enclosed environment so it steams some. That said, I’ve made the bread without it before and thought it was still good.

      I would try something cheaper first, I think, before I upgrade cooking equipment. Frankly I would just try getting a new thing of yeast… maybe it’s old? OR, if you were letting it rise in a cold area (it is winter after all) it can inhibit the rise some which can also cause a dense loaf.

      Also, one more idea… sometimes I’ve seen this when people don’t use enough liquid. The dough should be super loose and impossible to really knead.

      So you might try changing yeast, upping the water a bit, and then giving it another shot. If it still seems dense then it could maybe be an equipment issue, but that’s not my first guess.

      Good luck!

  126. Good Morning,

    Thank you Nick. Appreciate your comments, suggestions and I will heed them.
    It’s a wonderful recipe and I’m sure the fault is mine and look forward to giving
    it another try.



  127. Love this bread! I hate when people change recipes so that they’re something not resembling the original and then they say it was awful, but here goes. I add some green olives and caramelized onions – gives a lot of depth to the bread. I serve it with a spread made of half feta/half cream cheese softened and blended together. It’s heaven. (I also use the parchment paper method). Thanks for a great recipe for a chewy yummy bread.

  128. Turned out beautifully, light, airy, thin crispy crust, just the right amount of olives. Absolutely perfection! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

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