(This post is sponsored by my friends at Mezzetta, but my love for their olives is all my own! ❤️)
Okay, let’s get all of your “Olivia likes olives” jokes out of the way. Ready? Go!
Good! Now we can move forward and talk about this delicious Mediterranean Black Olive Bread, because I’ve been OBSESSED with it. As in, “I’ve made this bread twice in the past 7 days” obsessed!
Seriously, who buys bread from the supermarket when you can make this at home? (Actually, me! I buy a lot of bread… But that doesn’t help my case, does it?)
And before you start freaking out at the slightest idea of baking homemade bread, let me throw some words your way:
- Only 5 ingredients.
- No knead (You haven’t been to the gym in months and don’t have the muscles to knead bread? Don’t worry, me neither!)
- Made with the aid of your standing mixer. (You can definitely do it by hand, no muscles necessary, but let me be lazy and make my Kitchen Aid work a little.)
- No special tools other than a dutch oven.
I don’t know about you, but the smell of baking bread coming out of the oven is one of my favorite smells in the whole world, along with the smell of freshly laundered clothes and freshly brewed coffee.
Plus the olives take it up a notch making the whole apartment smell like pure heaven! mmmmmm ??? It invokes all sorts of feelings deep inside me, like coziness, happiness and love. ❤️
Call me a hippie, but baking someone homemade bread is the ultimate love gesture, don’t you think? Maybe it’s the sharing nature that is inherent to every loaf of bread – after all, who eats a whole loaf of bread by themselves? (Answer: me!?) – or maybe it’s the passion that goes into the baking itself, because nobody bakes bread because they have to (unless they are a professional baker).
Not to mention people think you are a genius when they taste homemade bread. And it turns out that all you did was mix 5 ingredients in a bowl, walked away for 10 hours, came back to put the bread in the oven and the oven did all the rest of the work! And now people think you’re some sort of Ina Garten? I’ll take it!
And because of all that, I think the holiday season is the best time to make bread. It doesn’t matter if it’s because you are having neighbors for a cup of coffee in the afternoon or to serve at your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, a loaf of crusty homemade olive bread just makes people feel like they are special.
I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed how much I love Mezzetta products, after all they’ve appeared on this blog a handful of times.
Mezzetta sources the finest fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece and prepares them according to Italian family recipes at its state-of-the-art production facility in the Napa Valley. No wonder they are the leading producer of glass-packed peppers, olives, and specialty foods in the United States.
Whether you are looking for a quick healthy snack or gourmet ingredients for your favorite dishes—reach for a jar of Mezzetta specialty foods at your local grocery store and see the difference a little love of food can make.
I know it makes a whole lot of difference in this black olive bread!
What makes this bread so incredible is the fact that a virtually foolproof recipe produces a fine-bakery quality loaf. I really think bakers were holding on to this secret for ages (probably hidden with the Da Vinci code in the Vatican, or something!) so they could keep their jobs!
The only challenge here is the patience to wait for the long, slow fermentation, which is critical for a light, flavorful loaf with an enviable, crackling crust. But it’s so worth it, you gotta believe me!
Seriously, make this! Make this NOW! It will blow your mind. And maybe you’ll love it so much that a Mediterranean black olive bread will be your new holiday tradition!
Oh, and before I forget: (Who am I kidding? I would never forget something as cool as this!)
To make your holidays even more memorable, Mezzetta is hosting The Holiday Memories Sweepstakes, where you can win some pretty amazing prizes, like:
- Grand Prize (1) – Instant Print Digital Camera plus a Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.
- Runner Up Prizes (10) – Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.
Click HERE to enter! Good luck!
And happy bread baking! ?
- ¾ teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 cup chopped Mezzetta pitted Kalamata olives
- In a medium bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water. Cover with plastic or with a kitchen towel and let it proof for at least 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the salt and the bread flour. Mix on low, with the paddle attachment, just to combine.
- Add the yeast/water mixture and mix on low until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic and let the dough rise at a warm place (inside of the microwave - turned off! -, for example) for 10 to 24 hours. (See notes!)
- Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Place a 4qt Dutch oven into the preheated oven, without the lid, for 30 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roughly press the dough into a flat rectangle. Sprinkle ⅓ of the chopped olives on top and fold the dough once, hiding the olives and pressing down again to form another flat shape. Repeat two more times until you've used all the olives. Then, form a ball with floured hands. Cover the dough loosely with plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes (another hour or two recommended), until doubled in size, while the dutch oven preheats.
- Once the Dutch oven has preheated, transfer the dough ball into the heated Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake, uncovered, for 15 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
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