Rustic Olive Sourdough Bread

This loaf's slight tang of sourdough, plus the brininess of olives, are perfectly complementary. The strength of these flavors works well with assertive sandwich fillings such as tuna, smoked fish, or meat. Which is not to say the bread isn't equally good slathered with salted butter, as a side to a Mediterranean-inspired meal.

10 mins
25 to 30 mins
3 hrs 5 mins
two 8" round loaves
Rustic Olive Sourdough Bread


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  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the olives, mixing and kneading to form a smooth dough then fold in the olives.

  2. Cover the dough, and allow it to rise until it's doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

  3. Gently divide the dough in half; it'll deflate somewhat.

  4. Shape each piece of dough into a round loaf. Place each loaf on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

  5. Cover the loaves and let them rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  6. Spray the loaves with lukewarm water, and make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each.

  7. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter — it’ll be ready for baking soon after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • For robust olive flavor, add 1 cup sliced olives, with 4 to 6 tablespoons additional flour, to the dough.

  • For a crunchier crust, bake the loaves on a preheated pizza stone.