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Olive Bread

A no-fail homemade olive bread flavored with fresh thyme and sliced Kalamata olives. Create this fresh baked bread with our simple recipe!

Baking bread is one of Kim’s hobbies. She enjoys creating fresh baked bread for the household. Recently, we had some leftover Kalamata olives in the fridge. She decided to use them to create this olive bread. The texture is tender and chewy and the savory flavor has hints of olive brine.

It’s definitely a winning combination. Now, like most homemade breads, this recipe takes a while to prepare. The dough needs to rest and rise before being baked. All in all, it takes about 3.5 hours from start to finish.

A top-down view of the finished yeast bread.

How to make olive bread from scratch?

First, in large stand mixer, use a dough hook to combine the following ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
Flour, thyme, yeast, and other ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Next, continue mixing the ingredients with the dough hook until a rough dough begins to form.

Now, shut off the mixer and let everything rest for about 10-minutes.

Shaggy bread dough mixed in the bowl.

After that, turn the mixer back on to low-medium speed and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes.

Once a softer dough starts to form, add in the sliced olives. Afterward, shut off the machine and form the dough into a ball.

The dough has formed into a ball in the bowl.

Cover the ball with a light olive oil drizzle. Go ahead roll the dough around a little. You want the bowl slightly oiled as well; otherwise, the dough will stick.

At this point, it’s time to let it rise. Cover the bowl with a clean towel (or plastic wrap) and place it in a warm, draft-free spot.

The dough has doubled in size in the bowl.

Let it rest and rise for 45-60 minutes or until it doubles in size. In the meantime, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Once the dough finishes rising, press it down, and transfer it to the sheet pan.

Bread dough formed into a loaf and scored on a sheet pan.

Shape it into a loaf and score it on top. Loosely cover the dough with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap and let it rise for another 45-60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. When the 2nd rise is done, remove the towel (or wrap) and place the pan into the oven to bake.

Last, let the olive bread bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Turn off the heat, transfer it for a cooling rack, and let it cool to room temperature, before slicing. That’s it, your olive bread recipe is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy it and wish you all the best 🙂

If you like this recipe, then check out our cheddar chive scones or serve it with a couple of our baked meatballs!

The loaf has baked and been partially sliced.

Recipe Tips

  • If your dough is too wet, you can add extra flour (1 tablespoon at a time). On the other hand, if it’s too dry, then add extra warm water (1 tablespoon at a time).
  • The texture of the dough should be slightly sticky but not so sticky that adheres to your fingers when touched.
  • You could separate the dough and shape it into mini loaves. This would be done just before the 2nd rise.

What goes with olive bread?

It can toasted and topped with all sorts of toppings, jams, and butters. For example, a roasted garlic compound butter would make a wonderful topping. Cubes of Parmesan, Pecorino, or Romano cheese, olive spreads, and savory jams also make delicious condiments to serve alongside this briny bread.

Why is my bread so dense?

Usually, this happens when the bread is kneaded for too long. The gluten in the bread is overworked, resulting in a dense, heavy loaf.

Fresh baked and sliced Kalamata olive bread.

Olive Bread

5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

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  • 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups (300 to 420 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227 ml) water warmed to 110°F to 115°F
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves may substitute with 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for greasing bowl
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup (71 g) kalamata olives pitted and sliced


  • Add 2 ½ cups flour, water, thyme, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until a shaggy dough forms (add more flour only if needed and if dough is wet). Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then stir in the olives.
    1 cup (227 ml) water
    2 tablespoons thyme leaves
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    ½ cup (71 g) kalamata olives
  • Attach the dough hook, and knead on low to medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes until a soft dough forms. It should feel slightly tacky but shouldn’t stick to your fingers. Add additional flour a couple of tablespoons at a time if necessary.
  • After the dough comes together, form it into a ball. Lightly drizzle the bowl and the dough with olive oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to double in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • After the dough doubles in size, use your hands to deflate the dough and shape it into a loaf. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife or a bread lame to cut 3 to 4 slashes across the dough. Cover the dough with an oiled piece of plastic wrap, and allow it to double in size again, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • While the bread rises, preheat the oven to 400°F. After the dough rises, remove the plastic wrap, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The top will be golden brown. 
  • Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers in a plastic zipper bag for 2 days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1-slice of the olive bread. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information and tips, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg
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