The Fresh Loaf

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[2017-12] Olive Loaf with Salt Crust

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

[2017-12] Olive Loaf with Salt Crust

I've made this loaf many times before, and it's one of my favorites. It's also a bit of a crowd favorite, at least among those who like olives.

I make this a bit differently than most of my other loaves, which is necessitated by the need to have access to the top of the loaf a few minutes before baking. Rather than proof in a banneton, I proof instead in parchment inside a mixing bowl, apply the black salt no more than 5 minutes before baking (or the salt will dissolve into the crust) and then left the entire loaf, parchment and all, into the screaming hot dutch oven. The dutch oven that I use is a round 3.5qt, which makes for a tight fit for a loaf this size. That in turn makes a nicely-risen loaf (or at least, appears nicely risen) with crinkly sides from the parchment.

This specific loaf is perhaps my best attempt so far. Previous versions had a very thin crust, despite cooking in the dutch oven, and I really couldn't quite wrap my head around why. For this loaf, rather than proof with a sealed lid on top of the mixing bowl, I proofed with just a linen over the bowl (overnight for ~8 hours) which left the top of the loaf quite a bit drier than when I proof sealed. That, in turn, made the top easier to score, and gave me nice crisp ears. Still not quite as crisp as my other loaves proofed in bannetons, but still better. My takeaway from this is that dough loses more moisture than I thought to the banneton, and a glass bowl with a lid on it really keeps that moisture from escaping.

Recipe is as follows:

  • 500g KA Bread Flour
  • 350g cold water
  • 150g starter @ 70% hydration
  • 12g salt
  • 150g kalamata olives (sliced in half)
  • Hawaiian black lava salt (to taste)

Turned dough at 30 minute intervals for ~4 hours, incorporating a few of the olives at a time.

Proofed overnight in parchment, covered with a linen cloth

Sprinkled generous amount of Hawaiian salt on crust at the very last minute before baking

Baked @ 450° for 25 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered


Sorry, no crump shot on this one -- I took it to work and fed it to my team at our Monday staff meeting, and it was rapidly devoured.



RoundhayBaker's picture

...salt and kalamata are a perfect match. Congratulations.

dosco's picture

Looks excellent, I bet the flavor was great as well!



Ru007's picture

salt crust. Or was it a olives? LOL!

Looks great, I'm a big fan of olives so this sounds delious to me. The salt crust makes me think of pretzels, which are yummy! 

Well done. 

Happy baking. 

dabrownman's picture

Can't wait to see the crumb of this beauty when you bake it again!  Well done and

Happy baking 

Garlicman's picture

Beautiful creative loaf, it has to taste good.

Hypertension will not stop me from taking a try at this recipe since I'm a died in the wool olive lover. Black sea salt is new to me and I thought I knew it all.

Amazing loaf.  Paul

PalwithnoovenP's picture

The name sounds very fancy, fit for its taste!

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Thanks, all! The black salt is something I had in the pantry and hadn't figured out what to do with. The first time I baked this loaf, I decided to make use of it, and it's been a fixture ever since. Here's a link to the product I use, though there are many, many others. Just search for "black lava salt" and you'll be overwhelmed with choices.

This loaf tends to be moister than my usual loaf. Part of that is the liquid that the olives bring, and part of it is the method of proofing I use. 

It's hard to get a crumb shot of this one, as I generally bake this as a gift to someone else or for an event, but I'll look for an opportunity and carry my camera around with me. The crumb tends to be soft and billowy, if that makes any sense.'s picture

Your Olive Sourdough Bread really is remarkable, especially when combined with the last minute Black Sea Salt. Whereas I have made this in the past I am considering re-baking it. But I am more setup for baking batards instead of boules. Therefore I'm thinking to use a banneton in which to prove. I figure if I line the inside with parchment and the outside with plastic sheeting I will almost replicate your banneton lined mixing bowl. No? Then I'll tent the top with a barely damp tea towel for approx. 8 hrs. I'd be interested if you think that's OK. Thanks, Argo