Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Olive Bread

This olive bread is so light and flavorful. They are perfect to dunk in olive oil or pesto and eat. They are great for sandwiches too. They make wonderful, lip-smacking mozzarella, tomato sandwich. Use green olives or Kalamata olives for this recipe. 

Years back we used to but fresh olive bread from the bakery. As soon as I read this book, I remembered those days and wanted to make the sandwich with olive bread. 

I made this bread after reading 'A Catered Book Club Murder' by Isis Crawford.  It is one in the series of mystery by Isis Crawford. The two sisters Bernie and Libby solve mysteries in the series. One of the  member of a local   mystery book reading club was found missing. The rest pf the members hire the two sisters to solve the mysterious absence of a book club member who was later found dead by the sisters in a swamp. This is good book. I loved the food part more than the mystery part. More than the mystery, I was looking for the wonderful descriptions of the food. The author has done a great deal of description of the food that it makes your mouth water instantaneously. In fact, the descriptions for the tomato mozzarella sandwich on fresh olive bread and the strawberry shortbread cake made me drooling. I totally agree with Libby when she responds to Bernie in page 62.  "How can anything so simple taste so good, said Bernie. It's the ingredients, Libby replied. With something this simple, you don't have anything to hide behind".

There are tons of food inspiration from this book. Like milk, half-eaten scrambled eggs, chocolate croissants, salmon salad, coffee, strawberry rhubarb tartlet, brioche, strawberries and cream in bowls, iced ginger tea, cottage cheese and red and black raspberries,  iced lemon verbena sun tea, peach blueberry cobbler - touch of cardamom,  corn tomato salmon cucumber and avocado salad, walnut and carrot muffins, seafood chowder, three color lasagna, cheesecake, iced coffee, open faced sandwich, coffee ├ęclair cappuccinochocolate chip bars, cucumber and strawberry flavored water, tomato mozzarella sandwich on fresh garlic bread, peach tart, grilled cheese on baguette, pretzel, beer, pizza, wings, garlic knots. These are some of the food from the sister's menu. The sister's restaurant was called "A Little Taste of Heaven". And these food really is heaven. The description for the grilled cheese - "grilled cheese slightly toasted baguette, rough crumb, chewy crust, contrasting with the oozy goodness of the melted mozzarella, the spiciness of the Italian basil, and the kick of the freshly ground pepper",  Peach tart - "puff pastry was a light golden brown, the edges carefully crimped with the tines of a fork, the peaches were sliced thin and gleamed with what Bernie assumed was an apricot jam glaze, and the top was graced with a sprinkle of finely chopped pistachios", Mozzarella and Tomato sandwiches on fresh olive bread- "no mayo - olive oil, garlic, pepper, slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella on fresh olive bread" hit me right away. I made the olive bread and the sandwich. They were delicious. 

The tartness of the olives in the bread, creaminess of the mozzarella, freshness of the tomato with a round of fresh crushed pepper......it is irresistibly delicious. It is a perfect harmony. Add a few basil leaves too. Having a tray with a cup of water at the bottom rack of the oven helps in making steam when the bread bakes. This helps in getting a chewy crust. And always, wait for the bread to cool completely before slicing. We enjoyed the tomato mozzarella sandwich made with olive bread just as exactly described in the book. It was divine.

I am linking this to March 2021 #FoodiesRead. Every post must feature a book centered around food. And you can talk about or give your views about the book in your post. Also, add recipes to your post if you make one out of it. Check here to know more about it. This is perfect to share for Weekend Cooking, all you need to make some easy recipes fitting the theme of a book. Check here for more info. I am linking this to Over The Moon. Check the link for info to participate in this link party.


Bread flour /all -purpose flour - 3 and 1/4 cups
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Yeast - 2 and 1/4 tsp
Water - 1 and 1/3 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp
Green/Kalamata Olives - 2/3 cup, sliced


Activate the yeast by adding to warm sugar water. Mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and 3 tbsp olive oil. Knead to a very soft and smooth dough. Add in the olives, fold and knead the dough.  Coat the bowl and the dough with olive oil and set aside for an hour to proof. This can be done in bread machine too.

After it has doubled in size, punch, fold and knead the dough. Shape into about 14 inch loaf. Place it on a baking tray dusted with cornmeal, cover and set it rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Keep a bowl of water in the lower baking tray of the oven. This helps in making steam inside the oven when the bread bakes, and that results in a chewy crust. Transfer the tray with the loaf into the oven for baking. Score with a knife. Bake for 50 minutes or till it sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom. 

Take it out of the oven. Cool completely on a cooling rack. Then slice, tear, or make a sandwich and enjoy.



  1. Sometimes these little cozy mysteries are just what you need for a relaxing afternoon and kitchen inspiration. Your bread looks lovely.

  2. I frequenlty pick up a loaf of olive bread from our local Italian grocery store, yours looks wonderful.

  3. Ooooooh YUM. I made black olive bread just the other week. I think I'll give your version a try with green olives

  4. ooh yum i love olive bread! this looks fab!