The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta Sourdough revisited

Danni3ll3's picture

Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta Sourdough revisited

I revisited this upon request from one of my customers. I changed up some of the grains (Spelt and Kamut instead of Durum), added extra feta and Sundried tomatoes, and decided to go with a longer mixing time rather than sifting and soaking the bran. This last part made for a slightly more streamlined procedure. Hopefully it pays off. 



Note: I mill more grain berries than needed in order to have extra to feed the levain builds. So add extra grain berries to the amounts listed below unless you have other wholegrain flours handy to use. 


Makes 3 loaves


150 g Spelt flour (~155 g Spelt berries)

150 g Kamut flour (~155 g Kamut berries)

50 g of rye flour (~55 g Rye berries)

700 g of unbleached flour

725 g of filtered water 

10 g Old Bay seasoning

15 g Pink Himalayan salt 

30 g yogurt 

250 g levain (procedure is in recipe and will need additional wholewheat flour and unbleached flour)



143 g of drained sliced mixed olives (49 g Kalamata, 48 g Manzanilla and 46 g Black) or (375 ml jars or cans of each type)

94 g crumbled Feta (Who knew that a 90 g pkg yielded 94 g! 🤔)

72 g Seasoned Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, drained and oil reserved (2-270 ml jars)


The afternoon before:

  1. Take 18 g of your refrigerated starter and add 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of wholegrain flour (your choice- I used mostly rye). Let rise in a warm place (oven with the light on - ~82F).
  2. Mill the grains on the finest setting of your mill. Measure the Spelt, Kamut, and rye flours and place in a tub. Save any leftover flour to feed the levain.  
  3. Add the unbleached flour to the milled flours and reserve.

The night before:

  1. Feed the levain 36 g of filtered water and 36 g of wholegrain flour. Let rise overnight in a warm place. 

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of unbleached flour. Let rise in a warm place till double. This took about 5 hours.
  2. Measure the feta, crumble if needed, and set aside.
  3. Drain (save the oil) and weigh the sun-dried tomatoes, (slice if not sliced), measure out 25 g of the reserved oil, and add both to the feta. 
  4. Drain the olives, weigh, and add to the feta mix.
  5. 2 hours or so before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flours and autolyse. This takes a minute or two in a mixer. Let autolyse for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Once the levain is ready, add the Old Bay seasoning, the salt, the yogurt, and the levain. Mix for a minute on low until the levain is integrated, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes to develop the gluten.
  7. Add the feta, the olives, and the sun-dried tomatoes/oil mix gradually to the bowl. Continue mixing on speed 2 until the add-ins are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  8. Do 2 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do two sets of sleepy ferret folds at 45 minutes intervals. Let rise for another hour or so until you see lots of small irregular bubbles through the wall of your container. The dough should have risen about 30% and be quite billowy.
  9. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  10. Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  11. Sprinkle rice flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.

They smell awesome! My streamlined process doesn’t look like it impacted the oven spring negatively. Crumb when we cut into one!



Danni3ll3's picture

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Sounds like an inside-out pizza.

I suggested that dab dabble in breadline baking.  With some changes looming in our lifestyle (> spells of city living), I'm considering it as well, thanks to you.  As an altruistic turn from barter, it has a certain appeal.  And should I be moved to liven up the fare beyond our standard 60pctWW, I'll know where to turn for inspiration.

👍👍 Danielle,


Danni3ll3's picture

a few to share our love of bread! And thank you for the compliments!

Elsie_iu's picture

It's common for customers to assume that the true weight of packaged food is less than that listed. However, it's almost always the reverse in my experience. Sometimes the error exceeds 10%! It was the case with the free sample package of muesli that came with Bob's Red Mill extra thick rolled oat. How generous they are!

Your bread looks awesome as always. Love savory bread especially when cheese is involved :)

dabrownman's picture

comment anyway.  One of my favorite breads is the pizza dough recipe made as loaf or roll with fresh garlic, rosemary, sun dried tomato and a bit of olive oil.  Now I'm going to add olives!  Such a nice loaf.

My fantastic SIL is learning to make SD bread with starter I gave him.  He is such a hoot.  Yesterday he made a nice tasting sour bread that came out a bit flat.  He let it sit 4 hours after he mixed it and then put it into the fridge where he did stretch and folds during the 20 hour retard.  I told him he invented a new way to make flat bread and said he might have better luck if he did the gluten development at the beginning 2-3 hours and not during the retard.

In his honor  and inspired by your post, I am retarding a SD bread for 120 hours to make a naturally flat bread - focaccia ........ adding 4 kinds of olives to my usual mix and fresh cherry tomatoes.  Then I have to decide what kind of cheese to put on top.

Love the bread as always Danni and happy baking

Danni3ll3's picture

because I froze the loaf we kept. I am in Vancouver with the daughter who ran her half marathon this morning! I am super proud of her! When I get back, I’ll cut into the loaf. 

I chuckled when I read about your son in law. Experience is the best teacher. I bet he won’t do that again! 😂

And I hope your bread turns out fabulous!