The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Olive Boule

emkay's picture

Olive Boule

It's been a while since my last post. The day job has been keeping me quite busy and I haven't had the bandwidth to bake bread as much as I would like. I'm baking every third weekend to keep the bread box full and the freezer stocked. My go-to bread has been Ken Forkish's overnight country blonde (just like I posted here: It's mostly hands off and seems to work well especially with the mild San Francisco temperatures we've been experiencing lately.

I decided to shake things up and bake something else. This weekend's bake was an olive boule made with 50% liquid levain and 60% water in the final dough. That gave me an overall hydration of 68%. Hydration-wise, 68% is pretty much as low as I go for a lean dough.

The resulting crumb was not too open which was a good way to keep in those delicious olives. The complex tangy taste of my bread was due to the age of my starter. I keep my stiff maintenance starter in the refrigerator unfed and then feed/build it using dabrownman's no fuss method whenever I want to bake.



Olive Bread

  • 80% AP flour
  • 20% whole rye flour
  • 60% water
  • 2.4 % salt
  • 50% levain (100% hydration, 20% rye)
  • 30% pitted Kalamata olives
  1. Mixed all ingredients by hand.
  2. Bulk fermented for 3 hours at room temperature (about 70F) with 4 sets of stretches and folds during the first 2 hours and untouched during the third hour.
  3. Preshaped and bench rested for 30 minutes.
  4. Shape retarded in the refrigerator (40F) for 12 hours.
  5. Baked at 450F for 35 minutes (for 600 grams dough).

:) Mary


nmygarden's picture

You had me with the opening pic, then intrigued with the fresh scores, then purely delighted with the baked loaf! It's a work of art, I love the crisp, decisive scoring and the soft, open crumb, but am certain this is a tasty bread and won't last long, except in memories.

Thanks for sharing it with us!


emkay's picture

Hi Cathy, You are correct that this loaf did not last long. I admit that I love salty, briny things and olives are at the top of my list! 

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Looks great and I am sure delicious. I love an olive loaf!

emkay's picture

Hi Edo, It was definitely a delicious loaf. Thanks for commenting.

Janetcook's picture

I love your scoring on this loaf.  Love how they all opened so evenly.

Once I discovered how nicely olives make a dough handle they become a favorite add-in.

Thanks for taking the time out of you busy schedule to post what you have been up to lately.


emkay's picture

Hi Janet, I didn't get ears, but I was pretty happy with the look of my loaf. I'm on PTO this week since I'm taking a class, so I have an excuse to ignore all things work-related. Hope you are doing well. :) Mary

greenbriel's picture

Great looking loaf and I'm stealing that scoring pattern ;-)

Well done!


dabrownman's picture

First it has that durum crust color, somehow without having any durum in it!  Second, can tell you are a lefty by the beautiful scoring on this loaf that only a lefty could do,  Third, we don't get to make an olive loaf around here much since the girls hate olives more than any other food.  Lastly, the crumb is perfectly open for 20% whole grain, lower hydration and the olive add ins.  Looks very soft and moist.  I can taste those salty olives.....

Odd how the no muss, no fuss starter works so well for retired, lazy folks like me and also for the always on the go, working folks like you!   Well done and

Happy Baking  

greenbriel's picture

Now that I look, I see exactly why you thought leftie, but damn, you are like Sherlock Holmes!

emkay's picture

Hi dabrownman, I think I was born a lefty. My mom "gently encouraged" me at a very young age to be right-handed. So I am definitely a righty, but with lefty-tendencies. As a result I end up doing a lot of things in a mixed up way like dealing cards with my left hand in a counterclockwise direction or scoring bread like a lefty. :)

Heylo's picture

it lookes amazing!

for a 600g loaf, would these be the proportions in grams, more or less?


AP flour 200

rye flour 50

water 150

salt 6

starter 125

olives 75

emkay's picture

Hi Heylo, Your proportions look correct. Please let me know how it works out for you. Thanks!

Heylo's picture