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Matt’s Rosemary Olive Bread Recipe

by TomSchaefges on Flickr

The following recipe was written by my brilliant baker of a husband, Matt.  Enjoy!

This is my favorite olive bread.  I got the recipe from my instructor in the professional baking class I took at the New School of Cooking in Los Angeles.  I’ve never found another olive loaf that is nearly as good, and I’ve tried the olive bread at every single bakery we’ve ever set foot in.

Do you know why it’s so good?  Fat.  Well, sugar and salt, too, but fat is the real hero of the day.  We’ve got fat in the form of olive oil, olives, and egg.  And we’ve got a whole tablespoon each of salt and sugar!  I wouldn’t recommend skimping on any of the ingredients, but I wouldn’t suggest eating it every day, either.  This is a great special occasion bread, perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Rosemary Olive Bread


  • 3 cups bread flour (13.5oz)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz warm water (100F)
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup pitted olives

Slashing the Loaf


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Combine beaten egg, olive oil, sugar, rosemary and olives and add the yeast/water mixture.
  3. Add flour and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Add salt and knead for another 5 minutes.
  6. Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil. Cover. Let rise for one hour in a warm spot (90F).
  7. Remove the dough.  Knead it a bit.  Form it into a ball and place on parchment paper.
  8. Loosely cover with a towel and place it in a warm spot (90F) for 30 min.
  9. Pre-heat the oven for one hour at 400F.
  10. Slash the top of the loaf before baking.  Bake for 45 minutes or so on a pizza stone or in a cloche until the loaf registers 180F in the center.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for two hours or so before eating.


  • The baker’s best friends are the scale, the thermometer, and the timer.  I really don’t know how to bake without them anymore.  For example, everyone’s “cup” of flour is very different.  The only way to maintain consistency is to do almost everything (but especially flour and water) by weight.
  • I use kosher salt.  Specifically, Diamond Crystal kosher salt.  It’s the industry standard in the restaurant world.  Personally, I think there is no other salt that makes food taste better.  However, if you are using table salt, use a little less than a tablespoon (the grains are smaller) and if you are using sea salt, use a little more than a tablespoon (the grains are bigger).
  • The period of rest between the two kneadings is called autolyse.  It allows the gluten to begin to form before the dough has to deal with the stress of further mixing.  Try it, it really works!  And the best part is that it requires no effort!
  • I always add the salt in after the autolyse and allow to to incorporate into the dough during the second mixing.  Salt tends to tighten the gluten (making it  hard to knead) and can kill yeast, so it’s best to give things a little time to get started.
  • The first rise for this dough is a higher temperature than normally given in recipes.  This is due to the fact that it is a very heavy dough.  The yeast needs to be very warm so they can be very active and make a lot of gas to raise the loaf. It’s not a problem, but you have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t over-proof.
  • The slash on the top of the bread allows the bread to expand during baking without ripping (which destroys the form).  Even worse, if there is no slash, sometimes the surface tension on the dough is too great, the bread doesn’t spring in the oven, and you get a brick.  Good for the birds, not so much for people.  Even dogs don’t really like it.  We use a razor blade, but you can use a sharp knife or whatever is handy. 
  • My favorite thing in the world is the cloche.  It replicates a real baker’s oven at a fraction of the cost.  Not only does it provide radiant heat all around the bread from the stone, but it allows a high level of humidity around the baking loaf for the first few minutes. This is important because it keeps the surface of the loaf supple and allows it to spring to it’s final size during the first few minutes of baking.  Below, you’ll see our cloche on top of the baking stone in the oven.  The jagged nubs on the top are from me breaking the handle off the very first time I put it in the oven!

The Cloche in the Oven

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38 comments to Matt’s Rosemary Olive Bread Recipe

  • Oh yum! I’ll be trying this. Where did you get your cloche?

  • katecontinued

    Melinda, are your cutting circular slashes in the dough in picture #2? What am I looking at here? BTW – I am so craving this now. My issue would be that my home is 55 degrees this morning (and throughout winter), so I might have to run the oven to heat the place before baking. I started baking again a few months ago (after some years of trying to be carb-free, avoiding processed grains, rice and pasta). My thinking was that the baking would serve double duty with warming my home, although I didn’t calculate this dough rising temperature requirement.

  • Looking forward to having some in December. I remember it being really good. I may have to try this at home sometime.

  • Deb G, I’ll ask Matt – I don’t know!

    katecontinued, yes – Matt generally cuts a circular slash. The circular indentations in the dough are from the proofing basket. The warmth is a problem in the winter… if your oven has a pilot light, that might be enough.

    Rob H, :) We can have a bread making party!

  • Deb G, we bought our cloche at a local kitchen store. Matt found it at Amazon here: So you can either purchase it there, or call around to your local kitchen stores using that info!

  • Just made this today and it is quite the lovely bread. I used instant yeast — same quantity — and a mixture of olives with not quite as much rosemary. It’s moist with a nice crunch on the crust. Really nice.

  • Mine is in the oven as I type… I’ve adapted it for the Thermomix machine and will blog about the results after testing it (the adaptation) twice more. (with full credit to you and Matt of course.) Mmmmm Mmmmm, the house smells soooooo good. I love finding ways to use all that surplus rosemary from the garden — any opportunity will do — you don’t need to twist my arm! By the way, I don’t have a cloche, so I tried it using a pan of water on the rack below. It’s looking good so far… Thanks!

  • Bread was delicious but way too salty. I think 1 teaspoon of kosher salt would be sufficient due to the saltiness of the olives.

    Just like Helene, I didn’t have a cloche so I put it on a baking sheet on one shelf, and a pan of water on the shelf below.

    I did a hash shaped slash on top that reminds me of the bakery loaves, just beautiful!

    Thanks for the great recipe, I’ll be sure to add this to my bread arsenal.

  • After trying so many hit-and-miss Google recipes for olive and rosemary bread, I stumbled across your fantastic and insightful recipe. It turned out lovely and balanced and filled the whole house with a great aroma for days.

  • Wow, that looks so enticing and yet all that fat and salt!!! I feel so bad, but I cant help myself!

  • [...] Olive roll (Mabroomeh b-zeytoon), 7-Layer-Greek-Dip, Feta and Kalamata Olive Bruschetta, Grilled Crostini With Olive Tapenade, Rosemary Olive Bread [...]

  • Sj

    Hello,this looks delicious!- but can i use gluten free flour? is yes – are the directions the same?

    Thankyou!! with love from Malta

  • [...] cooktop on my stove would make an excellent place to mess around with bread dough. I used this recipe from One Green Generation . I didn’t have any kalamata olives so I used the green ones.  I [...]

  • Sarah

    I worry that covering with only a towel for the second rise will lead to a dry skin on the dough…or is that what is intended? I think I read that some loaves need this skin in order to hold their shape in the oven. Sounds like it works just fine for you, so I’ll try it out.

    I will have to skip the hour preheat, since the oven is the only place that I can make into a 90 deg rising space for the dough. I know preheating for 1 minute gets the oven up to 80…I’ll have to figure out how much longer for 90 deg.

  • I just made this and it’s currently cooling – cannot wait to eat it! It came out incredibly. Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  • Stephanana

    Deliciousness!! I was looking for an olive bread…as I am currently obsessed with my new found love for olives! The rosemary was a nice touch. The bread is delicate yet substantial, fluffy and moist! It surely was a hit in my house and I’ll definitely be making it again. I used unbleached whole wheat flour (because it was the only thing I had on hand) instead of bread flour and it came out really good! Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  • This came out so great! Absolutely beautiful, crusty, delicious. I couldn’t eat it all so I put some in the freezer and recently defrosted it and I swear I think it tasted even better, oddly. Thanks so much for this recipe! It will definitely become one of my regulars. Your baking tips were so helpful too!

  • S.Martin

    This is my favorite bread ever, and I was thinking could you use stuffed olives intead? Like garlic stuffed? I think it sounds really tasty but how would the garlic bake in the bread?

  • [...] is the first attempt at this olive bread. This is not a ciabatta but a more basic loaf. I found a recipe online that I liked and then modified it to suit my taste. The recipe was for olive and rosemary [...]

  • Patrick

    I cannot even begin to tell you how good this bread is!!! I made it last night and the only thing I changed is that I used an alderwood and coffee smoked salt in place of the regular sat, which was awesome :)

    Thank you so much for posting this!!

  • Duder

    If I sub in say a cup of whole wheat flour, how much vital wheat gluten should I add to make up for it?

  • Lidia

    Thank you for such a nice recipe and the little and necessary details. It is delicious. I tried it many times. God bless

  • Shannon

    Woah! way too much salt…I went through all that time making it and then I couldn’t eat it. It also got burnt after just 40 minutes in the oven, I dunno if it’s just my oven or what.

  • Breadlover

    Hi there, would want to try this recipe. Can I use a Dutch oven to bake this instead?

  • [...] something different today, and spent a while browsing the internet for pics, and I found this one, Matt’s Rosemary + Olive Loaf. So I set about it. The recipe for this bake is taken almost straight from the blog. I only [...]

  • olive_oyl

    Making it for the third time right now. Knife and butter at the ready. It’s impossible to wait two hours to cut into this bread- impossible I tell you. It’s delicious. I’m the only kalamata bread eater in the family so I slice it and freeze it, and take out slices as I want. To Breadlover, a dutch oven would work fantastic. Thanks for posting the recipe. The house smells so good right now.

  • bread is my only life

    omggggggg, itzz innn the oven and i made it and im o nly 14 years old and it smells sooooooooooooooooooooooo good, thankzzksz 4 da recipe, gonana beee ghreattt. yumyumyumyumyum

  • Breadlover

    I have made this bread successfully 4 times. It is the best tasting bread ever! I would recommend cutting the salt as it does have a too much salt i.e 1/2 tablespoon is enough.I used Kosher salt. Stick with the original ingredients. Its perfect with butter or dipped in olive oil! I baked it in a Circulon Dutch Oven. Perfect each time!!

  • mduncan

    This is a delicious recipe which I have tried 3 times since finding it last week! I love it and my family love it too.

    Thanks x

  • N

    Tried making the bread (or any bread for the matter) for the first time. However the bed was so dense- I did notice the dough did not rise but I thought maybe it’s normal. Maybe it is my choice of yeast.

  • [...] found the following recipe at this site and I have made it several times (minus the rosemary – my taste).  I won’t recommend a [...]

  • Mark

    Great recipe! I bought a cloche just to make this bread :-) I recently added fresh minced garlic to the recipe (~3 tablespoons), and I HIGHLY recommend it. Yum.

  • Danielle

    I tried the recipe last night and baked the BEST loaf I have ever made! I’ve never been able to get the texture or density right. I think the resting and proofing made all the difference. I used my kitchen aid for kneading, the microwave as a warm place for proofing (I nuke a half mug of water to boiling, stop the microwave, then let both the mug and the dough ball sit uncovered in there together). As for my ingredients, I used an olive oil I picked up from Target that has roasted garlic and rosemary. I cut the salt back to a heaping teaspoon of coarse kosher salt and sprinkled some extra on the final greased loaf before it went into the oven. A tip on the cloche: I don’t have one, so I’ve used the trick of putting a sheet pan in the when the preheating starts. As soon as the loaf goes in, throw a handful of ice cubes on the sheet pan. It will create instant steam. Overall, SUPER DELICIOUS loaf that I served up with green Grecian olive oil and fresh hummus. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe — it’s my new go-to!

  • [...] in my garden and I’m crazy for its aromatic quality.) I just had to try adapting this Rosemary Olive Bread for Thermomix and it worked beautifully on the first modification — even better than [...]

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