Skip to main content

No-Knead Olive Bread - Inspired by Jim Lahey's "My Bread"

How gorgeous is this?

I've always wanted to try my hand  at baking bread. And I finally found both the motivation and the method to give it a try.

My local Safeway grocery store sells the most incredible olive bread in their bakery. The only problem is that it costs about $4.00 a loaf and it often sells out.

So this weekend I was trolling google, randomly looking up recipes and decided to look up 'olive bread'.

I was intrigued by the mention of a 'no-knead' method that I read about on several blogs, all of which pointed back to the originator of the method and his book: baker Jim Lahey's "My Bread" (a fantastic cookbook).

I managed to pick up a copy of "My Bread" at my local library this afternoon. After I made the bread and saw the fantastic results using Jim Lahey's no-knead technique, I plan to buy the book to add to my cookbook library.

Yes, his book is that good.

Without further ado, here's the recipe from the book, with a couple little additions that I've added (noted with an asterisk **)


3 cups  bread flour

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

**Pinch sea salt

**1 1/2 cups pitted kalamata olives

**1 Teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

** Notes:

Jim's recipe says that you can use any pitted olive, though he prefers kalamata olives. After making my first loaf with the generic black olives I had in the pantry...I immediatly went to the grocery store and bought kalamata olives...there really is a taste difference.

The pinch of salt is a matter of personal taste and may not be necessary if you're using the more robust kalamata olive.

The rosemary is my personal addition to this recipe (yes, it's in the Safeway loaf).


1. Add flour, yeast, and olives to a mixing bowl, add water. Combine ingredients into a sticky dough. Lightly cover bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap. Then let the dough rise at room temperature for 12 - 18 hours. (I went for the whole 18 hours)

2. When you uncover the bowl, your dough will have risen to twice its original size and will be filled with bubbles. Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Turn the edges of the dough under to form the dough into a plump round.

3. Take a clean dish towel, lay it out flat on your work surface, flour it well, and then place the dough, seam side down on the towel and lightly cover the dough. Allow the dough to rise for a second time for two hours. The outside of the dough will be covered in the excess flour, which you can also lightly dust the outside of the dough with cornmeal for added texture.

4. During the last 30 minutes of the rising time, pre-heat your oven to 475-500F. And here's the interesting part...heat your 5-quart dutch oven (without the cover if it has one of those handles that won't tolerate the heat) in the oven, so that's it's screaming hot.

5. CAREFULLY, open the oven door, slide out the very hot dutch oven, and plop the dough (seam-side up) into the cast iron pot. Place the lid on the pot and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let the bread cook for another 20 minutes uncovered, keeping an eye on the bread for done-ness. The top of the bread will become very brown.

6. Remove the bread from the oven, and then from the cast iron pot and let cool for an hour on a wire rack. According to Jim's recipe, this cooling step is just as important as the rest of the steps, so the bread can finish cooking inside and you don't end up with a damp interior.


I can't wait to make the next loaf. As you can see, it's incredibly easy, delicious, and will impress your friends and family.

Give it a try and then let me know the results. And then buy Jim's book. If you're a bread lover like me, you'll be hooked immediately.



Anonymous said…
my dutch oven will only go to 400 degrees. would my bread still come out okay? do i need to tweak something? thanks so much

Popular posts from this blog

When our spirit hungers

The precocious toddler’s interest in talking to her mother grew in insistence as the gathered group settled in for an hour of silent prayer. Shushing didn’t work, so the mother led her child into an adjoining room where she would still be part of the sanctuary, but sound would be dampened. Despite the closed door and heavy glass walls, the child’s fervent desire to speak with her mother was still audible.
I said a prayer for the patient mother determined to stay, and for the child who was either tired or hungry or impatient for Mom’s undivided attention. And then tried to bring my wandering thoughts back to prayer. I had come to Adoration with my own pressing need for answers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a growing emptiness in my heart. A void, as if something is missing. It’s not psychological. Not physical. After doing an internal check, I determined it’s a spiritual void that I’m experiencing.
No, I’m not doubting God, his existence or goodness. I have full confidence in…

Open to the Spirit - Book Review

Open to the Sprit is like reading a letter from a friend. McKnight writes a very accessible introduction to the Holy Spirit and its role in our spiritual life. McKnight uses several stories from his life and others to share how the Holy Spirit consoles and deepens our daily spiritual walk. A terrific book for those seeking an introduction to a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Simple Spinach and Kale Fettucine

On Wednesday I picked up my first box of organic from the High Country Conservation Center’s Summit CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Way back in February, I bought a ‘share’ in this summer’s crop, which entitles me to a weekly box of organic vegetables from mid-June through October.

Now that the vegetables have arrived, I have two reactions: 1) Wow! This is so exciting! Look at these beautiful vegetables, I’m going to be so healthy. 2) Yikes! What am I going to do with four bags of greens?

For the next sixteen weeks, I want to share my culinary adventures as I cook my way through my CSA box each week. Even if you don’t subscribe to the CSA share, you’ll enjoy these recipes which focus on our summer bounty. I hope you’ll also be inspired to try more vegetable-centered meals. Now, back to those four bags of greens! 

This week’s recipe polished off two of the bags immediately. You can make this easy and tasty recipe for two or four people, just increase the amount of greens and th…