olive bread

Makes 2 medium loaves.

Note: The base dough recipe is adapted slightly from "Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread" by Richard Bertinet, who uses cornmeal "to add character to the bread." You can use all Kalamata olives or combine with a green variety.

• 3 3/4 c. bread flour

• 2 tbsp. cornmeal

• 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/4 c. olive oil

• 1 1/2 c. water

• 1 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)

• 1 1/4 cup pitted olives, coarsely chopped (see Note)

• Additional cornmeal for baking sheet


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, yeast and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and water.

With the mixer on low (or with a wooden spoon) slowly add the liquids to the dry ingredients, mixing for several minutes until well-combined and no lumps remain. (If the dough seems very sticky, add 1 tablespoon flour; if too dry, add 1 tablespoon water.)

Add rosemary and olives and mix until just combined.

Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled medium bowl. With wet hands, reach under one side of the dough, pulling it up and folding it over. Repeat 3 times, going around the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 minutes.

Repeat stretching and folding (remember to wet your hands) and let rest for another 15 minutes. Repeat once more. The dough will feel firmer and more supple. Cover once more and set aside to rise until doubled, about an hour.

When risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, place this in the oven.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with cornmeal, or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. With a knife or other sharp edge, divide in 2, then shape into 2 oblong loaves. To do this, press 1 piece of dough into a 6-inch rectangle. Bring the top and bottom edges to the middle of the rectangle, pressing slightly, then fold the dough in half lengthwise, enclosing the edges and pinching to seal. Roll slightly to seal the seam and stretch the loaf to about 8 inches. Place on half of baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.

Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 40 to 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in volume and the dough springs back when pressed lightly.

Place the pan in the oven (or slide the parchment paper onto the baking stone.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition information per slice (12 to a loaf):

Calories 110 Fat 3 g Sodium 155 mg

Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 10 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, ½ fat.