Sourdough olive bread recipe | An excellent Mediterranean bread

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  1. Bruce McLeod Reply

    If 1/4 of the olives are added during the 2nd Stretch & Fold, when are the other 3/4 of the olives added? During each of the following S & F’s?
    Thanks, this looks very delicious.

    • I updated the recipe. They all need to be added during the second set, just 1/4 with each individual stretch and fold 🙂

  2. Natalia Reply

    Hi! The recipe says to add all the spices to the Autolyse (step 1) but then on Bulk Fermentation (step 7) it again says you need to add the spices. In the video you add them during the stretch and folds but I added them to the autolyse. Will it be a problem?

    • No, adding them in the autolyse is better because they get dispersed more. That’s why I changed it (but I guess not completely) 🙂

  3. Can I simply cut the ingredients in half so I don’t have to bake two loaves?

  4. Carey Satin Reply

    Hi! I think it may work better with a different type of olive. The skins on Kalamata olives are very smooth. Italian dry black olives may work better for this bread as they are more textured and would merge better with the dough. I will have to try that, maybe this weekend and see how it comes out. Thank you for doing all you do, your videos and website are an amazing resource. 🙂


    • Thank you <3

      I just love the taste of kalamata, but your point is taken 🙂

  5. Ivan Reply

    “Black olives” are not ripe olives. They are made by picking olives still green from the tree, and putting them through a different fermentation process which turns them black.

    if you pick ripe olives from the tree, when they have turned black naturally, they lighten during processing to become the grey, brown or purple mid-colour olives. You called them “half-ripe” olives, but actually they are fully ripe olives. Kalamata olives are often of this type.

    Sun-dried olives are the only naturally fully black olives, but they are quite rare, not the normal black olive.

  6. Pedro Gigante Reply

    just made it.
    Thanks for sharing..
    I had a problem with it being too sticky and not passing the stretch window test.
    moved forward and it had not enough consistency to get the shape and be manipulated after the 3/4 hour growing.

    Going to oven in 20min. Lets see

    • If you mail me (use the contact form) exactly what you did and what kind of flour you used, I’ll help you troubleshoot it 🙂

  7. Adam Smith Reply

    I tried to make this today. It’s a great recipe. I’m a relative beginner with sourdough but have had some success. One thing you don’t mention is with the three stretch and folds, I now realise I think we are supposed to wait 30 minutes in between each set. You mention that in conjunction with extra sets in addition to the three. But not with regards to the first three. I have a feeling this is why my dough doesn’t hold shape. Do you think this is correct?

    I guess we live and learn.

  8. Sourdoughlover Reply

    I made this sourdough and it was absolutely delicious! This was my third time using one of your ingenious recipes. Please make a potato sourdough next 😊

  9. Leslie Wolff Reply

    My olive bread turned out beautifully, thank you Sune.

  10. Ben Stern Reply

    This bread was great. Wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating it just as it was.
    I had only one problem. The dough doesn’t make a tight ball just before putting it in the refrigerator and doesn’t hold the round form once in the banneton. This happened in a previous bread so for this one I reduced water by 50 gr. But it wasn’t enough.

    • As it is with hydration, it’s different how much different flours can take. Use the link to the bread calculator and then change the hydration there. Go to 65% for starters.

  11. Melissa Reply

    Hi, I am new to sourdough and love your site. I’m wanting to make one loaf of the sweet blueberry bread and one loaf of the olive bread for a family member. Is it possible to do bulk fermentation together and then add the toppings separately? Or do I have to create two completely separate doughs? I only want one loaf of each, not two . Thanks.

  12. Brian Reply

    I accidentally added all of the levain (300g instead of 250g) but it still turned out great. Thanks Sune!

  13. Debbie Reply

    What did you sprinkle on before baking, bread flour or rice flour? It was hard to tell and you didn’t mention it and it’s not in the recipe.

    • It’s white rice flour. It doesn’t scorch the way regular wheat flour does 🙂

  14. ime Reply

    Hi Sune, when you say, whole grain wheat flour- can I use whole wheat flour? or do you mean like whole grain (ex. spelt or rye)?

    • I mean a full extraction of wheat flour where nothing is sifted out. If your whole wheat flour is like that, then it’s good. You can use spelt, rye, or any other whole-grain flour too 🙂

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  16. Kat Moulton Reply

    For the version that I am looking at, the measurements for the Levain differ in the text from that noted in the recipe. The text notes 50 grams for each of the flours and starter ( the recipe notes 60 grams ) water is 100 Grams in the text and 120 in the recipe. I initiated my bake based on the text and then needed to figure out adjustments in the dough. Please consider an update for consistency. Thank you..

    • I did this on my earlier recipes because if you measured the levain, it would have less than needed, but I’ve just dropped the levain altogether now, so just use a peaked starter.

  17. chris hansen Reply

    Would a Tablespoon of olive oil add flavor? From your other videos it will apparently soften the crust. Cheers.

    • It would soften the crust. Someone suggested to me to use olive brine in the dough, replacing some of the water. You’d have to remove the salt though or else it would get very salty.

  18. jonathon moreira Reply

    are we supposed to autolyse the whole time the leaven is rising (up to 12 hrs? or can we do the usual 30-60 min?

    • The levain is supposed to take around 4 hours to double. It’s a 1:2:2.

      You can do a 30 minute autolyse for sure 🙂

  19. Thank you Sune – this is our favorite sourdough loaf and it comes out perfect every time. I love your attention to detail, which is key to making good bread. I wish I could add a photo of my bread here as it looks exactly like yours. You are awesome!

  20. Robert Reply

    Dear Sune,

    First thank you for everything. I’m a COVID baker and your site and videos have transformed me into a serious sourdough artisan baker. As a geek myself (biotech industry), I really appreciate your application of the scientific method. I would have saved 5 months getting up to speed if I’d found you sooner. But bottom line, with your help I’m making the best bread I’ve ever eaten. And that’s saying a lot since I’m from the San Francisco/Berkeley/Napa area where this stuff is taken very seriously!

    Second, with respect to this recipe, I’m not quite clear how much of the various herbs you are using and whether they are fresh or dried. Zero grams comes up for some, or 0.1g for others, when I use the bread calculator. The “card” however uses teaspoons, but doesn’t mention dried or fresh. Not that I couldn’t figure out a useable amount, but you’ve got a good touch so I’d like to see what you’ve settled upon.



    • You are welcome. I love to hear when my content makes a difference 🙂

      I’ve updated the recipe and other places. The correct amounts were already listed in the recipe. 2 tsp basil and 1 tsp of the other spices. I used dried spices, which I’ve also updated the recipe to reflect.


  21. Nancy Westmaas Reply

    I halved the recipe as I only have 1 oval banneton and limited space in my fridge for the overnight proofing. Baked this morning and was very happy with the result oven spring and crumb….AND taste. Took alot of patience to wait for it to cool.

    • Thank you <3

      Yes, it’s a wonderful bread. I should make it again soon.

  22. Tam Reply

    This looks delicious! Is it ok to use 20% innoculation and also 25% rise for the bulk fermentation? Also will it make any difference if I chop the olives a bit before including them? Thank you!

    • It should be fine using 20% inoculation and 25% rise 🙂

      Chopped olives will give better dispersion, so go crazy 🙂

  23. Robin Howard Reply

    5 stars

    I love this bread recipe and make it with not only olives and herbs but also other additions. Today I decided to make my own take on Prosciutto Bread using very smokey ham (Westphalian) from my local German Butcher. For the olives I substituted 250 grams of ham, 1/8″ thick (3 mm) and cut into 1/4″ (6 mm) squares. I also added I tsp of fresh English Thyme. As the ham is very salty I reduced the amount of added salt to 15 grams.The result was fantastic! The entire loaf takes on the smokey flavor of the ham and the house smells like fried bacon!