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Greek olive and onion bread recipe

Greek olive and onion bread recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Yeast bread

This is a lovely bread to add to a Mediterranean meze table. Use black or green olives and try it toasted, drizzled with a little olive oil and rubbed with roasted garlic.

18 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 2 (7g) sachets fast action yeast
  • 125ml warm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, diced
  • 1kg bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules (optional)
  • 275g pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 425ml warm water

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:45min ›Extra time:1hr50min › Ready in:3hr5min

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over 125ml of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 40 degrees C. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and the onions. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, or until onions are soft. Remove the onions from heat and reserve.
  3. Combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, dill, garlic granules, olives and cooked onions in a large bowl and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water. Mix well until the ingredients have pulled together and have formed a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (27 to 35 degrees C) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  5. Lightly grease two baking trays. Deflate the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide the dough into two equal pieces - don't tear it. Shape into dough into round loaves, and place the loaves into the prepared trays. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  6. Preheat an oven to 230 C / Gas mark 8.
  7. Bake loaves in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(12)

Reviews in English (8)

This bread is gorgeous! I didn't have any red onions, so used a white one and still tasted good. My husband and daughter loved it.-28 Jul 2010

Easy to make, great taste, especially when toasted after a day or two-21 Jun 2012

by SunnyByrd

This is very good bread, though I found the dough VERY sticky and had to add quite a bit more flour to get it workable. I used green greek olives and added some sundried tomatoes at the submitter's suggestion. I think I would use darker olives next time so you can see them better. We had this with greek lamb stew, which went really nicely. I'm going to use the second loaf for muffeletta sandwiches - yum! Thanks for the recipe!-25 Feb 2009


Who doesn&rsquot love a warm piece of olive bread? Cooking in general is quite therapeutic for me but baking is even more so. The kneading process and the smell of yeast make me want to do a happy dance. I am no qualified baker, what I bake is just what I learnt from lots of trial and error. But hearing positive comments and a finished loaf of olive bread is definitely an indication that the recipe is good right? So here is what I&rsquove learnt&hellip

Flour can be categorized based on how fine it is ground. Type &ldquo2&rdquo is coarse and the finer is type &ldquo00&rdquo. I use &ldquo00&rdquo flour for bread, which is not only finer but also less elastic. That makes the bread crunchier on the outside and not chewy. I usually make the dough at night so by the morning it is set and all i have to do is mix in the olives. Definitely cuts down the waiting time for Sunday breakfast.

We consume a lot of olives in our household so sometimes I buy the olives in a 1kg jar. In that case they are soaking in a brine which also has vinegar. In that case in preparation for the olive mixture I let them strain in a colander over a bowl until there is no more liquid.

Resting time 1 hr 20 mins


&bull 500 g &ldquo00&rdquo flour, extra for dusting

&bull 2 tsp instant dried yeast

&bull 1 &ndash 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

Olive mixture

&bull 1 ½ cups pitted black olives roughly chopped, see my notes below

&bull 1 tsp rosemary, I sometimes substitute this with dried mint


Break making

1. Sift the flour in a large bowl, then add the yeast, salt and sugar. Mix all the dry ingredients with your hand to spread evenly. Make a well in the middle, add the oil and one cup of water initially, mixing well with your fingers or a wooden spoon.

2. Lightly flour a clean surface, bench or board, and tip the dough on it. Keep stretching and kneading with the end of your palm until the dough is consistent in appearance. If there is still flour then you may need to add a bit more water, do so by adding 1 tsp at a time. If the dough is too wet then add a bit more flour.

3. Once a smooth surface is achieved place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel. I usually add a blanket on top too if it is cold in the house. Allow the dough to proof for about an hour or until it has doubled in size. In the meantime prepare the olive mixture.

4. Once the dough is ready, tip it out on a lightly floured surface. Use your palm and finger tips to spread it out into a rectangular/round shape. Add half the olive mixture in the middle. Fold the corners/edges in the centre and press it down to spread out again. Repeat the process with the rest of the olives. As you combine it all together form it into a round shape.

5. The olives will cause the dough to be quite moist, lightly dust it with more flour if needed so that the outer surface is not wet. The one I made had a diameter of 17cm, hence the cooking time is based on that. Line a tray with baking paper, place the bread on there and let it rest again for 20min.

6. Preheat the oven, at the convection setting, at 160°C. Place the tray on the middle rack, cook for 35min and then turn the heat up to 200°C for the last 10-15min. Let it bake until it is evenly brown.

7. Place it on a cooling rack and let it cool down before cutting. Enjoy!

Olive mixture

Prepare the olive mixture by adding all the ingredients together. It is important that the olives are at room temperature so that it doesn&rsquot disrupt the yeast&rsquos activation. Hence if they were in the fridge prepare this first and leave it on the kitchen bench to reach room temperature.

Recipe Notes

I typically use pitted olives to reduce the prep time in having to take the pits out. If you are using olives brined in a jar then allow them to strain to remove all the liquid they&rsquove been soaking in. If you are using olives that are already marinated then do not add the extra olive oil in the mixture.

The onion ideally should be lightly fried for easy digestion however most of the times in this case I add it in the mixture raw.


I agree with many of the previous reviewers. It’s good but needs more olive oil, rosemary and sea salt well as splitting the dough in two pans so it’s a more traditional thickness.

I made this focaccia and everything turned out great except it smelled like yeast a little too much when it cooled down. Any tips on how to tweak the recipe to fix this?

This Foccacia is fluffy and delicious. However, I would recommend putting in lots more olives than the recipe says, and adding the salt in with the flour. Despite that, super tasty and authentic, and perfect for dipping with olive oil.

Awesome recipe. Focaccia came out fluffy, salty, and delicious. I don't have a bread machine and mixed/kneaded by hand. The only issue I experienced was that my focaccia came out really, really thick. Like, 4 inches high! I used a 15 x 10 pan and followed the directions exactly. Does anyone have any advice on why that happened? I'm thinking I let the dough rise for too long? I would like a thinner focaccia next time.

I have to take issue with "Bake bread until brown and crusty, about 20 minutes". That's creates the potential for over baking. Iɽ bake this at center oven for ten minutes, turn and continue baking until a thermometer inserted into the Focaccia reads 180 degrees the remove it and allow it to cool for ten or fifteen minutes before serving.

I have baked many different focaccia recipes, and this is hands down the most authentic and best recipe I have come across! The only ɼreative liberty' I am guilty of is adding 2 Tbsp of olive oil into the dough mixture, and 2 Tbsp of olive oil drizzled on top of the focaccia before baking. This one is a keeper!

This was soooo good! I halved the recipe and made it in a 10 inch cast iron pan which worked wonderfully. I also used instant yeast so I skipped the first rise and it worked fine. I will be making this again.

Excellent recipe! We just returned from Italy and my sons have been asking me to recreate the memorable focaccias they tasted on their trip. This recipe totally nailed it! Nice and crispy on the outside yet soft inside- perfect texture and taste. Will be using this recipe regularly!

I tried several different recipes but use this recipe regularly because it is the perfect amount for my bread machine. I mix by hand at times when my bread machine is in use. I do use much more olive oil than this recipe calls for because chefs I watched claimed more is better. Sticking to the recipe, it just didn't have as crispy crust and soft center with so little olive oil for my taste.

Made this recipe for the first time, yesterday, for a dinner party. It was a resounding success! Served it along side a crab bisque soup, and provided a light olive oil to dip the bread in. The bread has a tender, light crumb, and is easy to cut cleanly into wedges or bread-stick widths. I used my bread machine for the first knead, and added an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the dough, until it was no longer sticky, but still soft and pliant. (It was no where near the firmness of typical bread machine dough.) After the first knead, I followed the recipe directions exactly (even to using a full two tablespoons of olive oil on the top of the bread). I removed my focaccia from the oven when it reached an internal temperature of 210F/99C. The top crust wasn't heavily browned at that point, but the bread was fully cooked, moist, and tasty. Note: After you slice your Kalamata olives, remember to blot them dry with a paper towel, to avoid their purple juice bleeding into the surrounding dough. Though this bread takes time to produce (about 3.5 to 4 hrs of overall time), it is actually quite easy to execute and well worth it. It also looks impressive, resting on a cooling rack, when guests arrive.

This recipe is delicious and easy! Yes, the dough is sticky, but that is what makes it fluffy and bubbly. Easily adapted to include any of your favorite toppings.

Made this last night and it was fantastic! Instead of olives and rosemary, I used rosemary and garlic. I marinated the herbs in the olive oil and used it to coat the bowl during the rise. I also added a bit of sugar to help the yeast proof faster. Wonderful!

I used bread flour and mixed and kneaded it in a standing mixer with the dough hook, but otherwise I prepared it exactly as written. Wow! This is a super bread with a wonderful texture and deliciously crusty exterior. I look forward to making it with other toppings, such as a dusting of parmesan or some sea salt.

Really delicious focaccia. I used a bit more flour since the dough was really sticky but it rose beautifully and the end result was just to die for.

Amazing recipe, with a few modifications. First off, living in a dry climate, I decreased the amount of flour (just under 4 cups total instead of 4.5) and added 1/4 cup olive oil to the wet ingredients. I also added 1tbsp honey to the yeast to help it flourish. I followed the recipe from this point exactly as written until it came time to top. Not having a taste for olives, I omitted them and instead added basil leaves and finely sliced onion. I also found that due to climate differences, the top of the bread browned very quickly (almost burnt within 5 minutes of entering the oven) I lowered the oven temp to 425 and it came out perfect! I will definitely be using this (modified) recipe again!

Top-notch recipe! I thought for sure I had messed up because the dough didn't rise very much once it was spread out on the pan, but voila! Perfect focaccia thick enough to slice in 1/2 for a gourmet sandwich. Only put olives on 1/2 as per picky husband's request.

Love this recipe, and it's so adaptable. I have made this recipe, and then also used the dough recipe for pizzas. This dough for pizzas, on a heated pizza stone in the BBQ make THE most delicious crispy crusts. I pre bake for 3 - 5 minutes and then add pizza toppings. For a bread recipe, this dough makes beautiful bread.

I have been making this recipe for about 5 years, and it's always a huge hit! I omit the olives - my kids don't like em - but sprinkle with coarse salt and rosemary. My family could eat nothing but this bread for a meal, and the kids beg me to make the "dipping bread", as they love it dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I used the dough recipe and rather than use olives and rosemary, added fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and sea salt. The dough itself turned out perfectly. I also split the dough in half and baked in 2 pie tins using the same bake temp and time. Worked perfectly. I will continue to use this dough recipe for many variations to come!

This bread was fantastic! I took some of the other reviewers' advice and kneaded in some of the olives and rosemary so they stayed in the bread better. I probably should have drizzled a little more olive oil over the top than I did, but it still turned out incredible - and I'm a novice bread maker.

The flavor was good since I mixed some of the olive oil into the bread, but the texture was so dense, not like focaccia at all. Next time I'll try a different recipe.

Delicious and easy. I followed the directions completely but should have added a bit more salt to the dough. Also should have made two smaller focaccias - mine was far larger than a large sized pizza and it barely fit on the cookie sheet! Used fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and sea salt on top - incredible!

Simple and delicious! I bake this (and just about all my breads) on a Silpat on top of an oven-safe cooling rack. It requires no oil on the bottom, and the crust is crunchy an uniformly browned.

I liked, but didn't love, this recipe. The preparation was a snap, but the final product, even with the dimpling and ample olive oil, had a texture a lot more like white sandwich bread than it did focaccia. Next time, I'll stick to the sage focaccia recipe in this website: I much prefer its sponge starter and resulting consistency.

had a cocktail party tonight and made 10 of these, with varied toppings, and grilled them directly on the barbeque, on low flame. people were eating them like crazy! easy and so rewarding--even for a large crowd.


In a large skillet, heat oil and saute the onions over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and pepper or pepper flakes and cook until most of the juices have evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bread crumbs as needed to thicken the filling. Let cool completely, then add the cheese and salt to taste.

To make the phyllo: Place flour and the salt in a food processor. Pulse a few time to mix. With the motor running, add the vodka, lemon juice and oil, then add just enough water to make a soft dough.

Let the dough rest in the processor for 15 minutes.

Process the dough for 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until it is slightly elastic. Let rest in the food processor for 20 to 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough briefly, until it is smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if its sticky. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Cover 3 of them with plastic wrap and, with a rolling pin, roll out the remaining dough as thin as possible, dusting often with a little flour. Or, if you have a pasta machine, roll out strips of phyllo as described in the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Working with 1 portion at a time, cut the phyllo into 3 1/2-inch rounds, using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or glass. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each round, fold over the dough to make a half circle and press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Set aside on paper towels. If you are not going to fry the turnovers immediately, arrange them on baking sheets, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

In a large skillet, heat 2 inches of a combination of olive oil and safflower oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.

In batches, fry the kalitsouna, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. With tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Taramosalata or Taramasalata? Try 3 Recipes and Find Out Why it’s Healthy.

Kathara Deftera here in Greece, is translated to Clean Monday. Basically it’s the first day of lent for the Greek Orthodox religion. Nutritionally it is important because it marks the beginning of the 40-day fast, which ends on Easter. Traditionally Kathara Deftera was characterized as a day of cleansing oneself (spiritually) and preparing for the fasting and the mourning. People ate plain fish roe (taramas), with a flatbread (lagana) beans (without olive oil) and other vegetables.

Today things are bit different: modern Greeks spend the day flying kites, going to parks or out to the countryside, dancing and of course eating. Instead of just plain fish roe they eat taramosalata (fish roe dip made with olive oil and bread), olives, lagana (flat bread), shellfish, octopus and halva. The practice of going to the countryside and celebrating is called Koulouma and it’s a relatively recent tradition.

I’m not a huge fan of picnics but my favorite part of Kathara Deftera is the taramosalata. It is a very addictive dip made from fish roe, a lot of olive oil, bread or potatoes. First of all though, I want to set the record straight on the name it is called Taramosalata NOT Taramasalata. No Greek ever calls it Taramasalata, so you shouldn’t either. Apparently though many people think the right name is the latter. When I did a search on Google, taramasalata (incorrect term) returned 462,000 results, when I searched taramosalata (the correct term) I only got 151,000 results.

Another important point I would like to make is that it is better to avoid pink taramosalata, that is just color and sometimes used for lower quality fish roe.

So, yes this dip is rich and salty, but the ingredients, as with most Greek foods, are healthy. Fish roe is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein olive oil as we all know is an excellent source of the good monounsaturated fats and antioxidants and lemon juice also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant.

About 80% of the fat comes from healthy fats too. So really, there is no reason to feel guilty, eat and enjoy but not too often. Remember taramosalata was consumed only a few times a year.

I’ve included a recipe my mom has been using the last few years, although there are more steps to it, it is easier and foolproof and slightly milder than the traditional taramosalata. And for a taramosalata with more fiber but equally delicious click here for taramosalata made with whole wheat bread.

Bread Machine Kalamata Olive Bread

Kalamata olives from the Kalamata region in Greece are meaty and deep-purple colored olives with a pronounced earthy taste. Only olives grown in this area can be named as such even if the same type of olive trees are grown in other parts of the world, like the United States and Australia. Their wonderful flavor and texture have made Kalamata olives a favorite in Mediterranean cuisine and a staple in many Greek dishes, from appetizers to main dishes. Our kalamata bread makes the perfect pair: pillowy dough filled with a deep olive flavor, a highlight of the great love that Greece has for its hundreds of types of bread and its world-renowned high-quality olives.

Because it's a recipe for the bread machine, this loaf is a breeze to make. An ideal side to pasta, soups, salads, and stews, it's also enjoyable on its own dipped in olive oil, smeared with butter, or served as part of a charcuterie board or cheese platter. Use it for open-faced sandwiches with fresh cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, or cube it to make a wonderful Panzanella.

For this recipe, you are going to need the brine in which the olives are sold, so if you're buying them from an olive bar be sure to bring home plenty of their liquid. If you're using jarred olives, you are likely to have enough brine at hand. Before you start, review the manufacturer's instructions of your machine bread machines have a preferred order in which ingredients should be added. The default order is liquid ingredients first, dry ingredients next, and yeast last. For loaves of bread that have mix-in ingredients such as the chopped kalamata olives, your bread machine will signal you for the right time to add them.

Do you need yeast when using self-raising flour to make bread?

No, at least not the traditional bread yeast. When using self rising flour the bread proofs much faster. Therefore, if you also add yeast to it you will need to wait for it to act.

As a result your bread will be way over-proofed and will most likely collapse while baking. However, by skipping the yeast entirely you will loose out on that delicious bread flavour. To make your bread taste delicious, there are three tricks that make all the difference.

Related Video

So great as a quick lunch or dinner. Wouldn't change a thing.

Thanks for reminding me about Kalamata olives Laholladay! I am eating more veggies since I learned how much protein they provide. Always worried not getting enough protein and then I realized that we - as people - were first and foremost vegans. Veggies have so much protein. who knew! Suze

I can never get fresh pita where I am, they are like crisp shells that even warmed up break like crackers, so I rolled these up in flour tortillas which worked better than I expected. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. Light, refreshing, crisp, flavorful and as a bonus it was just as good the next day. I might add a small dice of pickled beet next time, on individual sandwich, not stirred in, to further the Greek salad flavor. Or a mince of kalamata. Or both. Regardless, as is this is a great summer time meal when you don't want to fire up the stove and a good does of veggies never hurts!

This is one of my go-to recipes. It's great exactly as written. It may be tempting to throw in the rest of that green pepper you chopped, or onion, but don't - I have found that actually measuring the chopped veggies, and keeping to the proportions recommended in the recipe, make it excellent. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and is great for lunches.

Where does the 13 grams of protein come from per 1/4 of recipe? Feta has around 4 grams of protein per ounce so that would be 8 g protein? I would like to know because I am trying to get the school to make this.

i made this as a salad side (sans pita) to lamb burgers and it stole the show! great the next too after the flavors have married.

What a fabulous idea, LOVE this for summer! Just made this last night and it was really good, this is such a perfect crowd-pleaser. I will say, though, where is the oregano in this recipe? Seems a bit strange. I've made Ina Garten's Greek salad quite a few times in the past, and to be honest, this one is no where near as good as hers. Next time I'm going to go with Ina's recipe to fill pitas with.

So simple and delicious. A wonderful meal on a summer night when everything's in season and you don't want to turn on the stove.

I added about one cup of diced Volpi Genoa salami to the mix and eased up on the salt in the dressing. Wonderful.

Good pita filling, becomes very potent in flavors if left sitting for too long. Two days max. great alternative for lunch during the week.

Really yummy! I used red pepper instead of green pepper and omitted the radishes. I ate the sandwich with garlic hummus as well. I will be making this again!

Great recipe--sprinkled some diced spanish olives on top of the filling. Coupled it with the Whole Wheat Pita Bread recipe from this same website which was amazingly easy and fun to make with my 9 year old. (We added the 4 teaspoons of wheat gluten as recommended by a previous reviewer to the pita bread recipe which made great pockets for this salad.)

Super simple, healthy and delicious. I used a yellow bell pepper instead of green, didn't have radishes so I left them out. I thought it could use more vinegar, however, and so I ended up using equal parts olive oil and vinegar.

This recipe is so simple yet really really yummy! And everyone at work commented on how good it smelled, so the second day I had to bring extra. Used champagne vinegar, otherwise followed recipe exactly.

Made the following modifications used a red pepper instead of a green pepper, didn't peel the cucumber, added 1 cup of canned, rinsed chickpeas and an extra splash of red wine vinegar for extra bite. I thought this was going to be bland but it packs quite the punch! Tastes even better when all the favors have melded in the fridge overnight.

Trader Joe's didn't have any radishes (sad face), but it was still super yum. I'm thinking about tossing in some raw asparagus slices. I used Champagne Vinegar because that's what I had on hand. Really good salad in a pita or not. Would be great with hummus and a cold Hefeweizen + lemon wedge.

Oh so easy and so delicious. It's a great use for grilled chicken too. Super easy to make and prep work is not that complicated. Will definitely make again.

My fave lunch recipe. I like it best with cilantro and extra radishes. I don't usually put it in pockets, but i bet this would be great on toasted naan.

I made this recipe for a very hungry - and very picky - film crew of 12. It was very easy to make, and everyone loved it. Unfortunately my grocer didn't have any radishes, but Iɽ imagine it didn't change the tone of the dish very much. It was so good I made a double-batch and served it as part of lunch the second day. The only problem I had was keeping the pitas from cracking open at the bottom once they were filled.

absolutely delicious! we chose to use a Marzetti balsamic vinaigrette that was absolutely incredible with the rest of the dish.

This is a wonderful recipe! Great for the lunch box and it keeps for a week. I used red peppers from a jar because of time, but will try it again with roasted peppers from the grill. I don't like radishes so omitted them and it was fine without them. My co-workers were jealous - they wanted me to make their lunch!

Total keeper! Full of flavor and super easy. My husband and I chowed it down. I used what I had onhand. Changes were: red pepper instead of green, cilantro instead of parsley, didn't have a radish, and didn't use a pita. Will try with avacodo next time!

forgot to add. I used half basil and half parlsey. bit I'm a basil lover.

Excellent. Wonderful light lunch. A bit of chopping, but easy enough. Iɽ recommend holding out the tomato until the last minute if you make it ahead of time.

Okay, I used regular tomatoes and red peppers from a jar, and then used homeade flour tortillas instead of the pita bread. BUT, this one's a keeper! It was simple and delicious. Very refreshing for the summer.

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

Olive Cheese Bread.

As utterly simple and easy as it is, it&rsquos so delightfully delicious and flavorful. And it&rsquos always a hit.

The finished product does have quite a strong salty/olive flavor, so for anyone who&rsquos not an olive fan, this might be a little strong. But for everyone else? Yum. It&rsquos great paired with a green salad, or with soup or spaghetti, or as a great appetizer for guests, cut into thin slices.

weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives

stalks Green Onions (scallions)

stick Butter, Room Temperature

Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.

Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.

Mmmmm, this is yummy. Three or four years ago, I prepared roasted beef tenderloin, tomato-basil pasta salad, roasted asparagus, and this olive cheese bread for a cattlewomen&rsquos luncheon with over 200 hungry ladies in attendance. They loved the tenderloin (recipe coming soon), but what they really went gaga over was this olive cheese bread. As utterly simple and easy as it is, it&rsquos so delightfully delicious and flavorful. And it&rsquos always a hit.

The finished product does have quite a strong salty/olive flavor, so for anyone who&rsquos not an olive fan, this might be a little strong. But for everyone else? Yum. It&rsquos great paired with a green salad, or with soup or spaghetti, or as a great appetizer for guests, cut into thin slices.

"Olive Cheese Bread"&mdashthe words alone make my mouth water. Let&rsquos make some, shall we?

The Cast of Characters: French bread, green olives, black olives, green onions, butter, real (not low-fat or fat-free) mayonnaise, and Monterey Jack Cheese.

Place one regular-sized can of black olives on a cutting board. (Mine said "6 oz. Dry Wt.")

Do the same with a 6-oz jar of pimiento-stuffed green olives.

Just give &rsquoem a rough chop no need to go crazy.

Now slice two green onions&hellip

Then give them a nice, rough chop all over.

Place 1 stick softened (room temperature) butter into a mixing bowl.

Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Please do NOT hurl if you don&rsquot like mayonnaise I promise, you won&rsquot even know it&rsquos there.

Take 3/4 pound grated Monterey Jack cheese. (I grated this myself, but you can use the pre-packaged stuff if you like.)

Now add the olives and green onions&hellip

Until thoroughly combined. Use immediately or refrigerate mixture up to two days before using.

Now, I know this sounds, like, soooo crazy and all, but if you were to refrigerate this for several hours, it would make a delicious cracker spread. I found this out accidentally once when I was making this olive bread, I was fat and pregnant and ravenous and I thought if I had to wait for it to bake in the oven I&rsquod die, right there in my kitchen. So I stuck a Ritz into the cold mixture, shoved it in my mouth, and my gestating heart sang for joy. I went ahead and finished the whole bowl and my baby was born a week later. He weighed 89 pounds.

But if you&rsquore not pregnant and ravenous, why not just go ahead and make the olive cheese bread as we originally intended?

Slice the loaf of French bread lengthwise.

I should point out that this French bread is the bottom-of-the-totem-pole FOIL BAG French bread from the grocery store. It&rsquos all I had available that day, and it worked just fine. In my experience, however, the finished product is much more delicious and interesting if you use "real" French bread that has a little more crust and bite to it.

Spread the mixture evenly onto both halves of the bread.

It&rsquoll look like WAY too much&hellipbut don&rsquot worry. It&rsquoll melt and gradually flatten and soak nicely into the bread.

Depending on the size of your crowd, you can go ahead and place one half of the loaf on a cookie sheet and bake it when you need it: 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until cheese is totally melted and the top is beginning to turn light brown.

I pulled this out a little too early. While the very ends were nice and golden brown&hellip

The rest of it was still a little pale. The cheese was melted, but it hadn&rsquot adequately baked into the bread.

So I put it back in for about 5 to 7 minutes. That was exactly what it needed.

Hello, lover. You&rsquore beautiful.

I officially christen this "Chick Food" because a) Marlboro Man wouldn&rsquot touch it with a ten-foot cattle prod b) There is no meat in it. Anywhere. and c) It&rsquos a great accompaniment for a nice green salad, and makes a great meal. For chicks. Men don&rsquot get the whole salad-as-a-meal thing, at least not the men I see on a daily basis. Which doesn&rsquot say much because I only see like three men on a daily basis: my husband, my husband&rsquos brother, and their cowboy. And on the meat-and-potatoes continuum, they&rsquore waaaaay down at the meat-eatin&rsquo end. But still.

Enjoy this! It&rsquos really delish.

Printable Recipe: Olive Cheese Bread

Quick kitchen tip: FLASH FREEZING.

Do you know about flash freezing? I do it all the time. Now, if I were to put the half-loaf of unbaked olive cheese bread straight into a freezer bag, the soft butter/cheese/mayo mixture would make a heckuvu mess all over the bag. Flash freezing solves that problem. When you flash freeze something, you set it, unwrapped, into the freezer for a short time&mdashtwenty minutes or so&mdashuntil the surface mess hardens enough that it won&rsquot smear all over the freezer bag.

After the twenty minutes, you take it out of the freezer, place it into a freezer bag, and return it to the freezer until you need it at a later time. This is also a great method for freezing twice-baked potatoes or anything else that would otherwise be a mess putting straight into a plastic bag. Try it sometime!