Mediterranean Olive Bread

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 2h 40m

Makes 2 oval loaves (16 servings each)

If desired, use a combination of black and green olives for a variation on the distinctive flavor of this regional bread. Use strongly flavored olives such as kalamata, Ni├žoise or Sicilian. A sprinkling of salt is an authentic, but optional final touch.


  • 3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped pitted ripe olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (optional)


In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, the yeast and thyme. Combine warm water, oil, brown sugar and salt; add to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole-wheat flour, olives, cheese, 1/2 cup wheat germ and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (1 1/4-1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Shape each half of dough into a 10 x 3-inch oval. Place on the baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly double (45-60 minutes).

With a very sharp knife or single-edge razor blade, cut a lengthwise slit about 1/4 inch deep on either side of the center of each loaf. Combine egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush onto dough. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 35-40 minutes, or till the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on racks.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2192

nutrition information per serving

98 calories; 3g total fat; 10mg cholesterol; 114mg sodium; 15g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 3g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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