Galganov's Recipe for
One Loaf of (Light Rye) Olive Bread using Black Olives!

Now let's go make a loaf of this delightful vegan olive bread!

To make this Olive Bread recipe you will need:
  • a cherry-olive pitter (also known as a "stoner") if you've got one
  • a knife and cutting board (to cut the olives)
  • a small pot (to heat the olive water)
  • a mixing bowl
  • a wooden spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • a loaf pan of, about 8" x 4" (greased if metal or glass - dry if silicon) or a greased cookie sheet if you prefer a rustic style loaf.
  • a length of aluminum foil to cover the loaf during the second stage of baking (optional)
  The required ingredients for this Olive Bread recipe are:
  • 1 cup olive brine/water
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp oil (olive is recommended for this recipe)
  • 1 Cup light, rye flour
  • about 2 to 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 15 to 20 ripe, black olives

Method I (mixing):

  1. Genly heat olive water/brine to about 95 oF (35 oC)
  2. Sprinkle yeast onto warmed olive water and let sit a few minutes.
  3. Add salt, sugar and oil and mix vigorously.
  4. Add rye flour and beat 100 strong strokes (or until batter is smooth) with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat flour and beat 100 strong strokes with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add 1 cup of all purpose flour and work it (working by hand when you can no longer work with the spoon) in then work in 1/2 cup at a time until the stickyness is gone from the dough - add only 1/4 cup at a time as you come near the end. (A little more or less flour may be needed depending upon the kind of flour, altitude, humidity levels and other factors.) Add flour just until the stickiness is gone.
  7. Add the balance of the white flour 1/4 cup at a time working it by hand as the dough becomes too stiff to work with your spoon - adding flour only until the stickiness is gone from the dough.
  8. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes - until it feels silky-smooth.
  9. Form the dough into a flat ball and lightly rub a thin coat of oil over the surface of the dough. Then return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover it
  10. Put the bowl in a warm, draft-free place (we use the oven with the oven light on) and let it rise for 70 minutes (or until the dough has doubled in bulk).
  11. Pit and slice the olives into pieces or olive rings. Set them aside for later use.

Method II (forming):

  1. (After first rising) Turn dough out onto a (lightly floured) work surface. Press the bubbles out of the dough - flattening it into an oval shape. Cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  2. Knead and shape the dough by pressing it out and folding it over - working the previously cut olive pieces in - and roll the dough it into the desired loaf shape..
  3. Place the loaf in the loaf pan (or on your cookie sheet).
  4. cover the loaf with a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper although it sticks a little more) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 50 minutes or until double in bulk.

Method III (baking):

  1. Preheat the oven to:
       if metal - 475oF (246oC)
       if glass or silicon - 455oF (234oC)
  2. Put loaf in middle of hot oven and bake for 13 minutes
  3. After 13 minutes, lower the temperature of the oven to:
       if metal - 450oF (232oC)
       if glass or silicon - 430oF (221oC)
    and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes cover the loaf loosely with a piece of tin foil and bake it for an additional 10 minutes. (Leave the loaf to bake uncovered if you want a deeper, harder crust.)
  5. Tap test (tap the bottom of the loaf) to check for doneness. If tapping the bottom of the loaf yeilds a hollow sound the loaf is cooked. Otherwise, return the loaf to the oven for just a few minutes more.
  6. When cooked, move to a wire rack to cool.
Tips & Tricks:

The Olive Bread Baker's Tip: If you're baking in a bread pan (rather than on a sheet) and the loaf is "just" shy of being done on the tap-test but the top is nicely crusted, bake the loaf with a sheet of foil over the top but with no pan (directly on the oven rack).

A Bread-baker's Tip: Covering the loaf with foil in the final stages of baking yeilds a softer crust. If you like a very soft crust cover it earlier in the second stage of baking ... or not at all if you prefer a crustier bread.
(Do not cover the loaf in the first stage of baking.)

The Background Story
One loaf of (Light Rye) Olive Bread
with Black Olives

As with most of our recipes pretty much no special tools are required to make this olive bread, however, a cherry (olive) pitter would be an excellent bonus tool to have for this recipe. This olive bread is one of those fantastic, fun breads - wonderful with sweet (or salty if you prefer) butter ... or with an olive tapenad. This slightly salty treat is perfect with a nice cheese or for that growing trend of "dipping" in oils. The rye component of this bread contributes nicely to the flavour and texture of this special loaf.

This is a vegan loaf (using no animal fats or other animal product). It is, therefore, also Pareve (for those of the Jewish faith).

This olive bread recipe uses ripe, black olives since green olives are a bit too hard and fruity tasting for this loaf. It is a great bread in that it uses something that most of us generally throw away - the water from the olives. We like a medium/large sized kalamata olive for this recipe (not the REALLY big, jumbo ones). We generally buy 2 litre (2 US quart) bottles of olives which (in our prefered brand) yields about 3 cups of water - enough for three loaves of bread.

This recipe, like most breads, uses a bit of oil - in this case a nominal 1 1/2 tablespoons (or as little as 1 tablespoon if you prefer). We use extra virgin olive oil because we like the addition of the gentle olive flavour the oil imparts to the dough. There is nothing wrong, though, with an second press olive oil ... or even a more neutral flavoured oil like sunflower.

This recipe will bake a loaf of a bit over 1 1/4 pound (around 600 g).

Rustic Style Olive Bread