The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

YW / SD Olive Bread with Rosemary and Bulgar Scald

dabrownman's picture

YW / SD Olive Bread with Rosemary and Bulgar Scald

We, counting my fine apprentice,  have wanted for some time to make an olive bread that was loosely based on Nancy Silverman’s fine loaf that she did with Julia Child on Baking With The Masters.  But, since the girls at home despise olives except for olive oil, this want has gone unfulfilled for what seems like forever.


But, today the evil veil of olive hatred was lifted just enough, to allow an olive loaf to breathe a breath of yeasty CO2 without being killed outright by evil doers before the scald, add ins and olives could be incorporated.


We wanted a bread that had 20% whole grains and some rosemary that pairs so well with olives.  We also wanted some cracked bulgar berries that were scalded.  No sprouts this time - using them to make white diastatic malt instead.  The bread would possibly have been better with sprouts and seeds or nuts – maybe next time.


A mixture of 95% kalamata and 5% green martini olives were used.  The salt was kept down a bit since the olive brought plenty of their own.  The total hydration was around 70% which is a little low for us but the scald and olives brought some extra liquid that was un accounted for in the formula.  The dough felt like it was around 72% hydration but it is harder to tell with all the olives.


The diamond scoring pattern was helped along by refrigerating the large 3.7 pound batard for 3 hours after it had final proofed to 95% or so.  We wanted a huge loaf since no one could  know when we would be allowed to make another one - with olives in it.

There was no way this was going to fit in the mini oven.  With it only being 106 F today, a full 10 degrees less than last few days, we felt it was a real cold spell that we should take advantage of - so Betsy was fired up to 500 F with steamers and stone in place.  The batard baked up deeply brown and very crispy in the Big GE oven using (2) of Sylvia’s steam pans with towels.

The crust was thick and the extra drying with the oven door ajar kept the crust crispy even after it cooled.  The crumb was light, moist, a little glossy and fairly open with all the bran, whole grains and add ins.   Best of all this bread tastes wonderful.  It was just what we were looking for - with the exception of the sprouts, 50 g more olives and some pistachio nuts that we will add next time to gild the lily and turn this into just the kind of bread my apprentice drools over.  It is super just as it is though.


The YW and multi-grain SD starters were built separately over (2) 3 hour builds and then combined.  The water, flour and salt were autolysed for 2 hours,.  All the rest of the ingredients were then added except the bulgar scald and chopped olives.

The dough was kneaded for 4 minutes and then placed into an oiled bowl to rest.  (4) sets of S & F’s, 15 minutes apart, were done on and oiled counter with the scald and olives incorporated in the 3rd set.  They were well incorporated by the 4th set.  The dough was allowed to ferment and develop on the counter for 90 minutes. 

It was then pre-shaped into a large batard, rested for 10 minutes, final shaped and placed into a rice floured and cloth lined basket, placed in a tall kitchen plastic trash bag to proof.  It was immediately refrigerated for 14 hours. 

The dough increased in volume 57.3 % in the fridge overnight.  It was allowed to come to room temperature and proof an additional 2 hours total getting to the 92.6% proof mark before refrigerating again for 3 hours.  This extra retardation would not normally be required but the intracacies of life come first.  Not really but it sounds so right and good.

The oven was preheated to 500 F with steam for 45 minutes before the dough was removed from the fridge, un-molded from the basket onto parchment and a peel, slashed and placed on the stone for baking.  The oven was immediately turned down to 450 F and steamed for 15 minutes.   The steam was removed and the temperature turned down to 425 F convection this time.  The batard was rotated 180 degrees every 5 minutes for another 30 minutes until it tested 205 F in the center.

The oven was turned off and the bread was allowed to crisp on the stone with the oven door ajar for 12 minutes before being removed to a cooling rack.  The batard rose to 209 F while crisping on the stone.

The formula follows the pix's

Combo Starter Olive Bread with Rosemary and Bulgar Scald    
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2Total%
SD Starter250252.86%
Durum atta250253.28%
Steel cut oats010101.31%
6 grain cereal010101.64%
Ground  Flax Seed0550.66%
Oat bran0550.66%
Yeast Water400405.25%
Total Starter1557022529.53%
Levain % of Total Weight13.42%   
Dough Flour %  
Diastatic Malt30.39%  
Durum Atta253.28%  
6 Grain Cereal445.77%  
White WW354.59%  
Bread Flour30039.37%  
Dough Flour762100.00%  
Dough Hydration65.22%   
Total Flour874.5   
T. Dough Hydration69.70%   
Whole Grain %19.95%   
Hydration w/ Adds69.70%   
Total Weight1,676   
Add - Ins %  
Kalamata Olives10213.39%  
Dried Rosemary20.26%  
Scald %  
Cracked Bulgar303.94%  
If we would have put in Sprouts %  
Total Sprouts455.91%  


Mebake's picture

How exquisite, DA! olives, bulgar.... cereal... YUM. The loaf color, and scoring pattern also look very attractive. Nice job.

The crumb is absolutely attractive. This is a fine bread, DA!

As to the numbers, how on earth are you estimating 57.3 volume increase? your engineering mind is one undeniable factor, i believe.



varda's picture

Beautiful crumb and scoring.   -Varda

dabrownman's picture

liked this bread Varda.  It is tasty and for those that like olives - very tasty.  One of these days I'm going to get up enough gumption to try your beautiful chocolate rye.  I know it would immediately go into my top 5 favorites that has 15 breads in it.

Thanks again.

dabrownman's picture

We really like this bread.  Somehow we ate 3" off of each end and all the slices in the photo in about 10 minutes just to make sure it was as good tasting as it was to look at :-)  Toasted with butter was just about all you could wish for in a bread that is healthy too.  We were right to want to make some olive bread.  You forget how good it is when you haven't had it for a while.

Even though you will regret it later, thanks for asking about the more precise volumetric measurements than usual.  They were the result of my guessing at them when I was writing the post up.  We originally guessed it was a 60% increase but got to thinking how do I really know?  So we took out the basket again, measured it carefully and compared these facts to the the before and after photos as best we could.  We then applied some basic ( since neither I nor my apprentice know any advanced)  Euclidean Geometry to the assumptions. 

After several iterations to account for the odd cross sectional shape that wasn't a cylinder or a rectangle, we came up with these numbers.  My apprentice wanted to round up to the next highest whole number but I reminder her that we had gone to great, if worthless,  lengths to be accurate plus retired folks, like us, have nothing better to do anyway - except baking bread of course.

Sadly, the math was likely all wrong and the the closer answer was probably the initial 60% gut guess.   But, since  it was the accuracy that was our problem that bothered us in the first place, we decided in was better to be wrong in a more exacting way than be right with a best guess if we could.  We will sleep better as a result no doubt.

Oddly, it is sometimes more worthwhile to reveal or discover a lesser understanding of things than adding anything worthwhile of note.   I was particularly happy to provide this explanation to you in the same spirit :-)

I would really like a home sized MRI machine to do these important calculations, in the most accurate way, but my wife won't allow any more nearly useless, kitchen appliances that cost more than the house did.

Thanks for nice comments again and Happy Baking!  Hope your recovery goes well.

Mebake's picture

Wow, That is one elaborate reply, DA!

I did't regret your answer, though, i expected it ;)

As to my recovery, i'am all out of therapies here, and i have but two choices: steroid shot into the back, or a disc fusion surgery. Given my age: 33, i'am opting for a shot.

Thanks for asking, how thoughtful of you, DA!


dabrownman's picture

aside, I would go for the shots too.  Nothing worse than a bad back.  Hopefully yours will get better soon.  Hope Ramadnn goes well for you and yours too.

isand66's picture

Hi DA...glad to read your post...was starting to suffer withdrawls after not seeing anything from you in almost a week :)

I have to say I love the way your crust and crumb came out.  You hit a home run with the open moist crumb for sure and your scoring looks perfect.

Now the bad news....I hate...hate...olives!  My wife on the other hand loves them, so there still is a chance I may have to give this one a chance one day if she is nice to me :)

Great baking as always. 


dabrownman's picture

tried a piece and said it tasted like olives and that olive lovers should like it.  She didn't.  Some folks just don't like olives.  I love tham and cure them now and again if I don't get stopped by the olive police.  It literally has to be one of those closet things no one else knows about.  It is a nice bread and tastes as good as it looks.  You won't like this bread though.  I would put half again as much olives in it with some sprouts and pistachio nuts and oil to round it into a real super bread for your better olive loving half:-)

I've been baking small lately, rolls, bialys, bagels ..... The freezer is still pretty stuffed with half loves of all kinds of bread I keep finding in there.  I am amazed at how well bread keeps at -10 F.  Freezing it right as it cools makes the difference too.  Maybe another month and they will be gone to allow more bread baking.  So, still having very good sandwiches for lunch as a result with left over breads of all kinds.  I want to get back into some DO baking and really get that deep, dark, blistered crust we used to get on the multi grain challah when baked in the Big Oval Magnalite as a loaf or boule.

Thanks for your comments my friend.   Hope your trip goes well.