The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Olive Loaf results

Juicegoose's picture

First Olive Loaf results

This is an update to my original post on a topic of olive loafs. Read it below for that discussion.

This afternoon I cooked my first artisan olive loaf bread here are my thoughts and hopefully you guys can dish out some pointers.

1. Even though I attempted to get my oven to 475 the closest it got was 400 until i turned on the broiler to get it higher. This pretty much ticked me off.

2. The bread had a good crust but was not near as airy and light as I thought it would be. Last night when I originally did my two rises the bread had great mass. Today after I pulled it out of the fridge and baked it( read below for reasons for the fridge)the bread bounced back some but not a lot. The outside 1/4" next to the crust had some larger holes but the interior looked like a regular loaf of bread. Any ideas for getting it more airy?

3. Even though I had placed Kalamata olives into the bread the taste was..well not really there. There wasn't that olive oil taste i'm used to when I buy a olive loaf of bread.


Obviously this being my second loaf of bread ever I have a lot to learn and even more to bake but thought I would put my results out there.






Olive Loaf original questions------>This sight is amazingly rich with information so thank you ahead of time. I can tell I will be reading a lot. Recently I had the urge to start baking breads and my first attempt at a simple white bread loaf was successfull enough to get me more involved. Last night I mixed up an olive loaf but it got to late before I could bake it so after the second proof i placed it in the fridge and today I'll take it out and bake it. Can anyone pass out some pointers on the next process, baking!!

Let me also ask if i have ruined my dough by placing it in the fridge, here are the steps i took before it went it in the fridge.

after mixing the dough and letting it initially proof for 2 hours I transferred the dough to a floured, linen lined colonder, placed a oiled glass bowl over the top and let it proof for an additional 2 hours in the pantry. I then transferred it, still in the colonder, with the glass bowl on top to the fridge. All looked well this morning. Should I have done something more before placing the dough in the fridge to protect it?


From what I understand I need to take my dough out at least an hour before baking. I've only got a pizza stone to bake on. In the book i was using, "the bread bible" it talks of splitting the top with a razor before I bake it. Anything I need to do before I do this step? anything to watch out for? I don't want to deflate my dough. I think the instructions are pretty straight forward in the baking process from that point on.


Again thanks for any and all tips and tricks I'm looking forward to the bread and the wife is making a special italian dish to celebrate thi as well.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

If you let it proof for another hour at room temperature, it'll almost certainly be overproofed (too much rise and, likely, will collapse).

If it's already doubled in size, preheat the oven, remove it from the refrigerator, score it (with razor blade) and then bake it right away. 

Juicegoose's picture

So this afternoon I need to put it in the oven without letting it come back to room temperature. Just to be clear last night i let the dough go through initial rise, degassed it shaped it and let it rise a second time and then put it in the fridge( i thought i would have been able to bake last night but wasn't able to.

richkaimd's picture

Let me suggest some ways to make TFL work for you:  first, read it a lot; second, use it to report on your baking successes and failures; third, use the search function liberally to get previous answers to your questions (note that many questions are asked repeatedly, leading to a large backlog of repetitious answers); fourth, watch all the videos at least once, and then go back to the ones that are most relevant to the particular bread you're working on or problem you're having; fifth, use the book review section when considering buying books, remembering to distinguish between cookbooks and textbooks.  For newbies, I always recommend using a textbook as a beginner, not a cookbook.  Texts start you with a good foundation and take you up from there.  Cookbooks don't necessarily have the focus of teaching bread baking as a class.  I recommend using DiMuzio's small text  (Breadbaking) as an excellent place to start.  Hamelman's text is wonderful but, I think, far too much for a newbie to handle.  Many of the texts and cookbooks are available used at Alibris and Powell's Books.  I have and use many cookbooks and texts.  Each has its own good and bad points. 

Good luck!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The reason you didn't get an airy loaf is probably because you let it rise too long (overproofed it).

It's a common "newbie" mistake to think that, if you let it rise longer, it will be more airy. Not so.

In general, it's: 

  • underproofed, or not given enough time to rise; so, baked loaf has a dense crumb, etc.
  • proofed, or given just enough time to rise, so, baked loaf has an airy crumb, etc.
  • overproofed, or given too much time to rise; so, baked loaf collapses (or doesn't achieve much oven spring; so, again, unwanted density, strange shape, light colour, etc.

Knowing when to put it in the refrigerator (for retardation) is more art than science, but two hours after shaping is too long. That will almost always result in an overproofed loaf, which will collapse on baking/scoring. (Actually, there is a "science" to it: trying to get a full rise (but no more) around the same time that the core temperature reaches 41 F, when yeasts go to sleep.).

It also sounds like you kept it in the refrigerator for almost 24-hours, which is rather long.

Research retardation to learn more about cold-temperature fermentation


To get more olive flavour, try using salt-cured olives (or a combination of salt-cured and the ones you're using). It also helps to have a contrasting flavour, like dried thyme. Use a good olive oil too. The loaves don't get too hot (~205 +/- 5 F), so the flavour of the olive oil will be preserved.

Juicegoose's picture

Would the olive oil be a substitute for some of the water or would I add it to the loaf as an addition like the olives?

Thanks for the reply as well. Your explanation of an overproofed dough had mine written all over it, dense, weird shape, kinda flat. Although when it sprung up in the oven its final shap resembled a large oyster cracker!!!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It really depends on how much you use. In general, yes, you will want to adjust (reduce/add) the other quantities. If you're just using a small amount, though, it really won't matter too much.

I'd recommend a different recipe if you didn't like the flavour of this one. Try Nancy Silverton's Olive Loaf (if you have a white starter). 

(Ha! A laugh oyster cracker!)