The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough with black olives

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Sourdough with black olives

We bought a lot of Turkish black olives last week and I thought finally it's time to bake olive bread.

It came out super well, so I decided to share the bake here. Dough is more or less 50/50 ruchmehl (Swiss high extraction flour) and white flour, but I didn't write down the exact proportions. Total flour weight, including 50 g of prefermented whole rye from the starter, is 450 g. Not too high hydration, in the 70% range, but also with additional liquid from the olives (around 80g after pitting), and a glug of olive oil. Since the olives are salty, I reduced the salt a little, 8 g instead of the usual 10g. After adding the olives the dough got much darker and acquired some pretty dark purple streaks, which came out beautifully in the final crumb. Did some typical stretch and folds etc, after a few hours it seemed the dough was ready, so I shaped it and final proofed mainly on the balcony, where I suspect the temperature is a little higher than the fridge at the moment, so the fermentation doesn't stop completely, but progresses very slowly. It rose somewhat, and next day I baked it with steam.

Bread came out crunchy on the outside, not too fluffy, but very soft inside, and very tasty. Actually amazing to eat with some more olive oil.


mwilson's picture

Olives and bread, a perfect marriage! The richness of flavour that comes from the extra ripened black olives, they can be very umami in taste!

I like the way the olives provides those purple stained streaks. One could say the effect is "olive macchiato" ! 😁

Nice bake Ilya, thanks for sharing.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Michael, very pleased to get praise from you! These olives are not very sharp in taste, but indeed provide a lot of savoury rich feeling, and nice texture.

I didn't expect this beautiful pattern in the crumb, so was very pleasantly surprised!  I guess if one blended the olives and used as a puree it would stain the whole loaf purple, akin to the popular addition of purple sweet potatoes, but I guess with a much stronger taste. "olive macchiato" is a nice way to put it :)

jo_en's picture


I really love the swirling effects and the glug of olive oil must make it so fragrant!

I will look for those Turkish olives!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you! Good luck and enjoy!

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Nice work, Ilya! This must be a wonderfully complex bread with all the layers of flavor and fragrance. You must be enjoying it very much. Thanks for sharing.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you, AG, indeed very pleased with it, the loaf is almost finished already :)

squattercity's picture

Bravo, Ilya. "Amazing to eat." That's the top. For sure I'm gonna try a version of this when I get back to NYC.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Rob, I am sure your version will be amazing!

Benito's picture

That looks delicious and beautiful Ilya. 

Happy baking and happy holidays.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Benny, happy holidays to you too!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

What a great bake. I happen to have some kalamata olives that have been languishing unused in the fridge. Last week I made this pasta ala Puttanesca to start using them up. I am thinking ilya olive bread would be a perfect match! Did you happen to add any of the olive packing liquid, or just what came off the olives themselves? Thanks for sharing! 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I think Kalamata olives would work great in bread! We also usually get them, and use them for Puttanesca sauce :)

The Turkish olives we got didn't come in liquid, but thy were just packages in plastic. So actually after opening we made a brine and now store them in it... Does anyone know the correct salinity for this, by the way? I reasoned the olives are already salty, so 3% brine should be OK, and so far they look fine. But I am curious if someone knows for sure.

So no, I didn't use the brine, since in our case it's basically just water and salt. If the olives were in good quality olive oil, I would have used that oil.