The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first successful loaf!

Pland's picture

My first successful loaf!

I was inspired recently to learn bread-making by one particular loaf of olive bread with pieces of bell pepper and herbs throughout it, with coarse salt and sesame seeds on top.

My first two attempts to copycat this bread had nice flavor, but were way too dense, flat, and not pretty.  I probably should have started with a much simpler recipe with fewer ingredients until I'm comfortable with the process, like the ones in the first lessons on this site, but I wanted THIS bread! After lots of learning on this site and suggestions from a couple other members, my third attempt was much more successful!

I made my favorite sandwich for lunch....olive bread with pepperoni cream cheese spread and turkey:

Here is a slice of my 2nd attempt (on the left), compared to my third attempt (on the right):

Getting better!  Can't wait to learn some more and keep baking....

Syd's picture

It looks great and I am sure it tastes fantastic.  You have been bitten by the bug.  Now there is no stopping you.  I look forward to seeing your results.



Pland's picture

Got that right!  There's no going back now.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's loaf looks delicious.

Now I want an fried egg sandwich with provolone and olive/thyme bread. (Note to self: No! No, you don't. If you defrost that loaf, you will eat the whole thing! Stop now!)

Careful when making breads with preserved ingredients like olives and the like. Those ingredients often have a lot of salt and acidity, which can wreak havoc on yeast fermentation, especially if you're like me and add 1 cup of salt-cured olives when the recipe calls for 1/4 cups. (Do you want some bread with your olives, Thomas?)

Pland's picture

I appreciate the support from this can be intimidating knowing nothing, and coming into an environment of bread scientists!

I'm definitely going to eat an egg-in-hole sandwich with this.  The pepperoni spread & turkey sandwich was a winner!  Hopefully my husband will get a chance to try the bread too ;)

You're absolutely right about the salty olives.  I LOVE salt, and I guess yeast doesn't.  On this last attempt, I added the olives after autolysis, and perhaps it helped.  I also didn't add additional salt this time.

1/4 cup olives?  Can that even be called olive bread?  ;)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Have a look at what the crumb of Nancy Silverton's Olive Bread looks like when she slices into a loaf:


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Big improvement from 2nd to third loaf!  Congratulations!  Pretty!

I was thinking about the chopped olives.... might be interesting to see what happens when the chopped bell peppers are combined with the olives and allowed to drain.  It might pull some of the moisture from the peppers if you find the peppers too wet in the finished crumb.  Just a thought.

I think with just 1/4 cup olives, I'd be tied to a plank and dunked into the Danube.  Lol  :)

BKSinAZ's picture

wow.. looks tasty!

dabrownman's picture

between 3 and 2.  I'm not seeing the sesame seeds or were you holding back on them to make 4 a sure winner over 3?  :-)

It's amazing the progress one can make with some comments from bakers and lots of practice isn't it?

You are on your way to very good bread baking indeed.