Thursday, September 27, 2018

Spicy Olive Bread

America's Test Kitchen cookbook, Bread Illustrated is one of my favourite baking book on breads. I have made some really nice breads from it and this Spicy Olive Bread is one of them.

There's lots of flavours going on in this bread ; there's red pepper flakes, minced garlic, black and green olives. The dough is mixed using the stand mixer. After the first rising, the dough is knocked back and shaped into a round, the second final rising is done in the Dutch oven.  

Once the dough has risen, the top is slashed with two 1/2 inch deep slashes to form a cross. Cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and continue to bake until the top is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes more.

Cool thoroughly before slicing.

I love the soft crumbs, with all the flavours ; a little spicy kick from the red pepper flakes, a little garlicky taste from the minced garlic, perfect combo with the salty olives. A good thing that I have reduced the salt by half, as I thought that it was perfect with just 1 teaspoon. Lovely bread!

Spicy Olive Bread
(Bread Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen)
3/4 cup pitted olives, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped coarse
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups (16-1/2 ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons salt (I use 1 tsp)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1-1/3 cups (10-2/3 ounces) water, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Combine olives and garlic in bowl. Whisk flour, yeast, salt, and pepper flakes together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk water, sugar and oil in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until sugar has dissolved. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
  2. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, about 8 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add olive mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until mostly incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer dough and any loose olives to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Press down on dough to deflate. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter (side of dough that was against bowl should now be facing up). Press and stretch the dough into 10-inch round.
  5. Working around circumference of dough, fold edges toward centre until ball forms.
  6. Flip dough ball seam side down and, using your cupped hands, drag in small circles on counter until dough feels taut and round and all seams are secured on underside of loaf.
  7. Lay 16 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Transfer loaf seam side down to centre of prepared parchment Using parchment as sling, gently lower dough into Dutch oven. Cover tightly with plastic and let 5rise until loaf increases in sizer by about half and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Using sharp paring knife or single-edge razor blade, make two 5-inch long, 1/2-inch-deep slashes with swift, fluid motion along top of loaf to form cross.
  9. Cover pot, place in oven, and bake loaf for 30 minutes. Remove lid, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue to bake until deep golden brown and loaf registers 205 to 210 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Using parchment sling, remove loaf from pot and transfer to wire rack; discard parchment. Let cool completely, about 3 hours, before serving.
***ATK do not recommend mixing this dough by hand.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #33 


  1. Whenever I have time to read your blog, I find something new. You are inexhaustible source of valuable cooking informations. This cookbook is really something!

  2. I love make bread and this looks stunning!

  3. Nothing beats the homemade bread...this looks fabulous, Joyce.

  4. Hi Joyce,
    It is so good to see you here at the party today! Your Spicy Olive Bread looks delicious and we would love it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  5. Congratulations!
    Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Thanks so much for sharing with us and you have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen