Sourdough Olive Loaves

This take on my artisanal sourdough loaves is transformed by a few additional ingredients.

Kalamata olives and Mediterranean herbs are the key ingredients to these delicious loaves.  The process is the same as my artisanal sourdough, so check out that post for lots of tips and tricks.

Sourdough olive loaves

What you need:

Sourdough olive loaves ingredients

Kalamata Olives

One 9.5 ounce jar of pitted whole olives, drained.  The olives tend to pop out of the dough during the stretch and fold stage-I’ve found that coating them in flour helps.

Mediterranean Herbs

I like to use a mixture of dried oregano, rosemary, and basil; but any combination of your favorite herbs will work.

How to make the Bread:

Follow the steps for my artisanal sourdough bread.  Add the olives and dried herbs to the dough before the first stretch and fold.  The olives have a tendency to pop out-as they do, pick them up and tuck into the center as you fold the dough.

This bread is amazing with Italian favorites like risotto and spaghetti.  It also makes the best garlic bread!  With all the best qualities of sourdough, plus a pop of flavor from the herbs and salty olives-this one is a hit!

Sourdough olive loaves recipe

Sourdough Olive Loaves

Step-by-step guide to making delicious sourdough olive loaves
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Proofing/Fermenting Time: 1 day 8 hours
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: sourdough
Makes: 2 Loaves
Author: Corey Grimsley


  • Bread cloche or dutch oven



  • 25 grams sourdough starter fed and still at peak
  • 50 grams whole-wheat flour
  • 50 grams water filtered, 80º F

Bread Dough

  • 125 grams leaven as prepaired above
  • 600 grams water filtered, 80º F
  • 625 grams bread flour
  • 175 grams whole-wheat flour
  • 18 grams salt I use Mortons Coarse Kosher
  • 245 grams Kalamata Olives (1) 9.5 oz jar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil


Day 1 - Making the Sourdough

  • Prepare the leaven. 
    Mix the starter and water in a small bowl.  Add the flour and mix until there are no more dry lumps.  Cover and rest in a warm place for four hours.  The leaven is ready to use when it has doubled in size and the top is dotted throughout the surface with air holes.
  • When the leaven is ready, make the bread dough.  
    In a large bowl, add the leaven and mix in 600 grams water.  Add in the two remaining flours and mix together until there are no more dry bits of flour.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and rest for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle 18 grams of salt on the surface along with a little 1 tsp water and pinch the mixture into the dough.  Continue to mix until all of the salt is dissolved.  Cover again and rest in a warm spot for 4 hours of bulk fermentation.  
  • Bulk fermentation. 
    During the 4 hour bulk fermentation, stretch and fold the dough every 30 minutes.  Before the first stretch and fold, add the olives and dried herbs to the top of the dough. With a wet hand scoop one quarter of the dough from the bottom of the bowl, stretch upwards as far as it will naturally pull and fold it back onto the center of the dough.  If any of the olives pop out, pick them up and tuck into the center as you fold the dough. Rotate the bowl and repeat three more times, so that all of the dough has been stretched.  Cover, put back in a warm spot to continue the proofing, and set a 30 minute timer for the next stretch and fold.
  • Dividing the dough. 
    After the four hours are up, the dough will have grown substantially and will have a very supple texture.  At this point, quickly scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface with a bowl scraper.  Divide the dough in two with the bench scraper.  Starting with one half of the dough, bring the top, bottom, left, and right sides to the center- starting to form a ball.  Bring the remaining four corners to the center, tightening the shape.  Use the bench scraper to pick up the dough and flip over onto the seam.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Repeat with the other half. 
  • Shaping the dough. 
    To form the dough into the final shape, flip it back over with a bench scraper.  Pull the top edge of the dough towards the center, then bring a pinch of dough from the left to the center and a pinch of dough from the right to the center.  Overlap the dough as you work your way down, like you are braiding.  Next, start at the bottom and roll the dough up into a log.  Use the bench scraper to swiftly slide the dough towards you and seal the seam.  Sprinkle the top with flour, pick up from the board, and place seam side up into a well floured, proofing basket.  Cover with a cloth and plastic and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Day 2 - Baking the Sourdough

  • Scoring and baking the bread. 
    When you are ready to bake your bread, pre-heat your oven to 475º F.  About 20 minutes before baking, pre-heat your bread cloche (or dutch oven).  Take one of the loaves from the refrigerator and flip the dough out of the proofing basket onto a parchment paper round.  Sprinkle more flour on the top of the dough and gently massage into the surface.  Lightly score the decorations with a bread lame.  Quickly and confidently score one large slice from top to bottom at a 45º angle.  Transfer the dough and parchment to the hot bread cloche or Dutch oven and immediately cover.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the oven temperature to 450°F.  Bake for 10 more minutes, or the ideal color is reached.


  • For best results, feed your starter 8 hours before making the leaven.
  • Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

Get Social