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French Bread with Kalamata Olives and Thyme

French Bread with Kalamata Olives and Thyme

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  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (for do-ahead version) or quick-rising dry yeast (for same-day version)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives (about 4 ounces pitted)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups (or more) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten to blend

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring milk to simmer in small saucepan. Add butter and sugar; stir until butter melts. Pour mixture into large bowl. Add 1 cup room-temperature water and cool mixture until lukewarm (85°F to 95°F), about 10 minutes. Add yeast; stir to blend. Stir in olives, thyme and salt. Add 1 cup flour. Using wood spoon, stir until flour is incorporated. Add 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, and stir vigorously with wood spoon until incorporated after each addition. If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from sides of bowl. Oil large bowl. Transfer dough to bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. For do-ahead version: Chill dough overnight. For same-day version: Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes (do not punch down dough).

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500°F. Oil large baking sheet. Turn dough out onto floured work surface (to avoid deflating, do not punch down dough and do not knead dough). Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Gently form (do not knead) each piece into baguette 15 inches long by 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches wide (dough will not be smooth). Transfer baguettes to prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes for refrigerated dough and 15 minutes for room-temperature dough.

  • Brush top of each loaf lightly with egg white. Generously spray inside of oven with water (about 8 sprays); immediately place loaves in oven. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and continue to bake until loaves are deep golden and sound hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes. Cool on rack.

Recipe by Suzanne Dunaway,Reviews Section

Baked Olives

Oven baked olives seasoned with rosemary and olive oil are the perfect appetizer for any occasion! Simple, quick, and using only a few ingredients, this will become the go-to recipe for your next gathering.

This is a simple recipe using a mix of Greek and Spanish olives, but you can use any kind you like.

Mediterranean Black Olive Bread

This Mediterranean Black Olive Bread is one of the most popular recipes here on the site! Crusty, chewy and so delicious. And the best part? This is a no-knead bread, so no need to work those biceps!

(This post is sponsored by my friends at Mezzetta , but my love for their olives is all my own! ❤️)

Okay, let’s get all of your “Olivia likes olives” jokes out of the way. Ready? Go!

Good! Now we can move forward and talk about this delicious Mediterranean Black Olive Bread, because I’ve been OBSESSED with it. As in, “I’ve made this bread twice in the past 7 days” obsessed!

Seriously, who buys bread from the supermarket when you can make this at home? (Actually, me! I buy a lot of bread… But that doesn’t help my case, does it?)

And before you start freaking out at the slightest idea of baking homemade bread, let me throw some words your way:

  • Easy!
  • Only 5 ingredients.
  • No knead (You haven’t been to the gym in months and don’t have the muscles to knead bread? Don’t worry, me neither!)
  • Made with the aid of your standing mixer. (You can definitely do it by hand, no muscles necessary, but let me be lazy and make my Kitchen Aid work a little.)
  • No special tools other than a dutch oven.

I don’t know about you, but the smell of baking bread coming out of the oven is one of my favorite smells in the whole world, along with the smell of freshly laundered clothes and freshly brewed coffee.

Plus the olives take it up a notch making the whole apartment smell like pure heaven! It invokes all sorts of feelings deep inside me, like coziness, happiness and love. ❤️

Call me a hippie, but baking someone homemade bread is the ultimate love gesture, don’t you think? Maybe it’s the sharing nature that is inherent to every loaf of bread – after all, who eats a whole loaf of bread by themselves? (Answer: me!?) – or maybe it’s the passion that goes into the baking itself, because nobody bakes bread because they have to (unless they are a professional baker).

Not to mention people think you are a genius when they taste homemade bread. And it turns out that all you did was mix 5 ingredients in a bowl, walked away for 10 hours, came back to put the bread in the oven and the oven did all the rest of the work! And now people think you’re some sort of Ina Garten? I’ll take it!

And because of all that, I think the holiday season is the best time to make bread. It doesn’t matter if it’s because you are having neighbors for a cup of coffee in the afternoon or to serve at your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, a loaf of crusty homemade olive bread just makes people feel like they are special.

I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed how much I love Mezzetta products , after all they’ve appeared on this blog a handful of times.

Mezzetta sources the finest fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece and prepares them according to Italian family recipes at its state-of-the-art production facility in the Napa Valley. No wonder they are the leading producer of glass-packed peppers, olives, and specialty foods in the United States.

Whether you are looking for a quick healthy snack or gourmet ingredients for your favorite dishes—reach for a jar of Mezzetta specialty foods at your local grocery store and see the difference a little love of food can make.

I know it makes a whole lot of difference in this black olive bread!

What makes this bread so incredible is the fact that a virtually foolproof recipe produces a fine-bakery quality loaf. I really think bakers were holding on to this secret for ages (probably hidden with the Da Vinci code in the Vatican, or something!) so they could keep their jobs!

The only challenge here is the patience to wait for the long, slow fermentation, which is critical for a light, flavorful loaf with an enviable, crackling crust. But it’s so worth it, you gotta believe me!

Seriously, make this! Make this NOW! It will blow your mind. And maybe you’ll love it so much that a Mediterranean black olive bread will be your new holiday tradition

Recipe Summary

  • 2 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 7 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (Optional)

Place water, yeast, and molasses in a mixing bowl stir to mix. Let stand for a few minutes until mixture is creamy and foamy.

Add olive oil and salt mix. Add flour, about a cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to stir. Add olives and fresh herbs.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead, adding flour as needed to keep from being sticky, until smooth and elastic. Place in well oiled bowl, and turn to coat the dough surface with oil. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour or so.

Punch the dough down, split into two pieces, and form into two round loaves. Place on greased baking sheet . Spray with cold water and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Let loaves rise for 25 to 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for about 45 minutes, or until they are brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.


Greek Salad

The famous Greek salad for about 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 2-3 large ripe tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 1.

French Bread with Kalamata Olives and Thyme

The recipe calls for spraying the oven with water because extra humidity makes the outside of the bread crusty.

Pasta with Kalamata Olives and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Roasting the tomatoes concentrates their sweetness.What to drink: A dry Italian white, such as Pinot Grigio or Soave. Ingredients 2 1/2.

Baked Figs with Honey Ice Cream

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Fresh Salad with figs, goat cheese & prosciutto

For about 4-6 servings Ingredients 6-8 Kalamata green figs cut in the middle1 small lemon4 spoons Kalamata balsamic vinegar4-5 spoons Kalamata.

Lamb “pilafi” with Figs, pomegranate & feta

Ingredients olive oil350.0g basmati rice½ tsp ground allspice1 onion, roughly choppedseeds from one half pomegranate35.0g shelled pistachios1 red chilli, halved.

Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey

Ingredients 1/4 cup honey1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper12 fresh figs1/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese Preparation Combine honey and pepper in.

Figs Recipes

The best serving is to have our Abetrom figs as they come from the tin. They are just perfect.

French Bread with Kalamata Olives and Thyme - Recipes

If you’ve ever strolled through your local supermarket, chances are that you’ve seen an olive bar in the store with an almost endless amount of different types of olives. Black, green, purple, pitted, stuffed…The large variety of olives may intimidate you, but after reading this, you’ll learn about the different types of olives and a few dishes that they pair well with.

Ancient Greeks considered the olive tree as a gift from the gods. Although they originally were used only in many Mediterranean dishes, Olives are currently featured in thousands of other ethnic dishes. There’s no such thing as a bad olive, but some may taste better than others, depending on your palate. Olives are universal and can be used in virtually any meal and in many drinks. Some olives may taste sweet, while others taste sour or salty. They can be tossed into salads, grounded into spreads and tapenades, simmered in stews and sauces, eaten alone by hand as a snack, or even plopped into martinis as a garnish.

Olives get their taste and appearance from where they were grown, such as geographical region and climate. Factors that also play a huge part are how they were harvested and cured. Additionally, the different ways of marinating, seasoning, and stuffing the olives determine their flavor and texture. While there are up to 27 different types internationally, here are a few of the most common olives used today.


Italy’s most common olives are Castelvetranos. Native to Sicily, they have a bright green, buttery flesh, and a mild flavor. They are sometimes pitted and stuffed with pimento, garlic or jalapeno. Consider serving them with Fontinella cheese and white wine, like Zinfandel.

These long green olives are harvested in Italy’s Puglia region. They are crisp and buttery. Their size makes them easily stuffable. They go well with garlic, cheese, capers, and anchovies.

Cracked Green Olive

Sometimes known as Tsakistes, these green olives are large and firm with cracked flesh. They marinate in oil mixed with herbs, garlic, lemon, onion or fennel. Their sharp flavor pairs nicely with cheese. Try them in potato or bean salads.

Kalamatas are deep purple, with tight, shiny skin, and an almond shape. They’re typically preserved in red wine vinegar, red wine, and/or olive oil. Use these salty, pungent olives in a Greek salad with Feta, olive bread, pizza, or puttanesca sauce.

Liguria, also called Taggiasca olives, come from the Italian seaside town of Liguria near the French border. These small, black olives are brine cured with bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. Liguria olives are vibrantly flavorful. To give your tastebuds a treat, try adding them on pizza or your favorite fish dish.

Manzanilla, also known as Spanish Olive, is originally from the Andalusia region of Spain, but is also grown in California. These small to medium green olives have a smoky flavor. They are typically sold unpitted or stuffed with pimientos, almonds, anchovies, jalapenos, onions or capers. For the perfect flavor, use Manzanilla’s in your favorite chicken or fish dish.

These tiny black olives with prune-like skin come from Southern France. Nyon olives are dry cured and aged in brine. They have a slightly bitter taste and go well with herbs like rosemary and thyme.

These brown or black olives have a licorice-like taste.. They are grown in the Southeastern region of France, as well as in Italy and Morocco . Nicoise olives are cured in brine and packed in olive oil. They go well with tuna in a Salad Nicoise, or cheese, bread and wine.

These long and slender Green olives are from Provence, France and have a crunchy texture. They are either mild, or tart and juicy, depending upon how they get brined. Add them for a punch to risotto or a hearty stew.

Sevillano’s come from Seville, Spain. These green olives are large, round, salt-brine cured with a bit of lemon and bay leaf. Pair Sevillano olives with Feta or Goat Cheese.

At Carter & Cavero, choose from our wide selection of pitted or stuffed olives and our Extra-Virgin Olive Oils . Buon Appetito!

Preparing the Olives

It is important to dry the olives before adding to the dough to remove as much of the brine as you can.

This is mildly painful for me because I LOVE olives and LOVE brines but the extra moisture could negatively impact your bread and cooking time.

No need to be obsessive about making the olives completely dry, just don’t throw them in the dripping with moisture. One quick rub with a towel or drained in a colander should do the trick.

I also like to leave half of the kalamata olives whole, and cut the others just in half.

My goal is to get olives alllllll over the place in the bread but still leave them in pretty big chunks.

The olives will be cut more as you cut the bread, so make them as large or small as you like.

You could use any olive variety you like, just make sure there are no pits in them!

What Can I Make with Kalamata Olives? (with pictures)

Before they make it to market, many deep-purple kalamata olives of Greece are selected for use in the country's prized extra virgin olive oil. Those sold whole, pitted or not, typically come in two styles: soaked in red wine vinegar or olive oil. Once in a chef's hands, they are useful in a range of culinary delights, from hummus, tapenade and spinach pie to pastas, pizzas and dressings.

Kalamata olives are credited with being one of the cornerstones of the health-bestowing Mediterranean diet. Used in both cooking oils and various recipes, this cured fruit is native to Greece, with the rest of the Mediterranean region producing most other varieties. In concert, these oils are credited with helping to reduce instances of heart disease, cancer and other degenerative ailments. Most major regions of not only Greece and Italy, but also Spain, Israel and Morocco have their own local olive oil.

Perhaps the most storied use of kalamata olives is to make Greece's extra virgin olive oil. Since it is typically produced with high-pressure extraction technology that can sift away water and plant matter, fresh olive oil is rarely squeezed at home. Nevertheless, ancient-style or counter-top olive presses are available in 2011 for those with the greatest means and technical knowledge.

Several popular Greek dishes feature kalamata olives prominently. Kalamata tapenade is a finely chopped blend of the olives and its oil, along with key ingredients like capers, tomato, garlic, lemon, oregano and thyme — all topping toast or pita. Though not necessary, kalamata olives also are a regular addition to hummus, either as a chopped garnish, whole or incorporated within the puree of chickpeas and sesame paste.

A pasta dish, salad or pizza can quickly take on a Greek bent with the addition of ingredients like kalamata olives, a squeeze or two of lemon juice, crumblings of feta cheese, and fresh spinach. One recipe purees the olives in a food processor to form the base of an olive vinaigrette. Some red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon, shallots and thyme are also part of this mixture.

Many recipes benefit from a blend of kalamata and other types of olives, such as those of the green variety. The almost-maroon kalamatas are often fruity and a little sweet, even more so after a red wine vinegar bath. This flavor profile benefits when paired with another type of olive — like the tangy, French Nicoise or the salty, herbal Sicilian or Spanish varieties.

How to Make Olive Bread

Here are all the steps to make this easy, homemade olive bread recipe.

Combine the first six ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a spatula to roughly combine the ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.

Attach the dough hook and knead on medium for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in a bit more flour as needed if the dough won’t release from the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the kneaded dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.

After the first rise, you can see a larger dough ball below.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf. This can be a round loaf as shown here or a more oblong loaf as shown in the photo at the top of this post.

Allow to rise for another 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a second baking sheet on the bottom rack. Dust the loaf with flour.

Use a serrated knife to make three shallow cuts across the top.
Place the baking sheet containing the dough on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Toss a half cup of water onto the hot baking sheet on the bottom rack and close the door.

Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

See, this is an easy olive bread recipe!

Look at that delicious texture!This kalamata bread is great to dip into olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Yummy! You can also enjoy this olive bread loaf with butter or cream cheese.

More ideas with Bob’s Red Mill products:

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Olive Rosemary Sourdough

This recipe is from our Sourdough Cookbook for Beginners. The book has beginner in the title, because we cover basic fermentation theory and break down the steps of baking, but the recipes range from a no-knead white bread to more complicated pretzels, brioche, and pasta. This olive rosemary bread has a straightforward process and an elegant outcome. It’s one of 10 artisan-style bread recipes in the book, along with 10 pan loaf recipes, 10 specialty breads, and 10 discard recipes. Some of the recipes use entirely refined flour, some a blend of flours, and some use only whole grain flour.

For this olive rosemary bread, we use whole grain flour for 30% of the flour. I like to use Kamut in this dough as it has a soft buttery flavor that balances the briny olives and aromatic rosemary. The colors of Kamut and hard white spring wheat contrast nicely with the dark olives, but when I want an extra airy loaf that still has whole grain fiber and flavor, I might use whole grain bread flour. And for a more robust wheaty flavor, turkey red is a nice option. You can also use a larger percentage of whole wheat flour, or substitute different herbs, such as thyme or tarragon instead of rosemary or different olives, such as castelvetrano or cerignola instead of kalamata olives. You might notice that the amount of salt in the recipe is a touch lower to balance the salty olives.

One of the things we worked hard to do in our book is to give you the tools you need to make the recipes as written or to modify them: change flours, transition your starter to another flour, add berries or other additions at different stages, bake pizza with different equipment, turn your babka dough into cinnamon rolls, and more.

This recipe is a classic artisan-style sourdough bread with 30% whole wheat flour. We add the kalamata olives and chopped rosemary during the initial mixing for a scrumptious flavor that is spread throughout the final bread. This loaf makes a great appetizer or snacking bread.

  • 350g all purpose flour or bread flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 150g whole grain Kamut flour (1 heaping cup)
  • 380g water (1 2/3 cups)
  • 70g sourdough starter (1/4 cup)
  • 8g salt (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 90g halved pitted kalamata olives (about half the olives in a 12-ounce jar)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp chopped dried or fresh rosemary

Serving Tip: Olive rosemary bread is a fantastic hors d’oeuvres bread. It can be eaten alone, dipped in olive oil, or served alongside a selection of cheeses. If you make a boule (round bread), you may find it easier to cut the bread in half, turn the halves onto their cut sides, and then make slices. Cutting through the crust will be easier, and the resulting half pieces are a good size for appetizers.