Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Bread

Good olive oil adds a rich and fruity flavor to this yeast bread, and brushed on the outside it creates an extra crispy crust.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 11 hours 10 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • ½ cup water
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cornmeal


  • To make the sponge, combine water and yeast, stir to dissolve, and let stand 5 minutes. Add ½ cup bread flour and beat 1 minute. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 hours.
  • Add to the sponge the honey, ¾ cup oil, salt, and enough bread flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Return to bowl, brush with remaining oil, cover with plastic, and rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, fold in half, and rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, and shape into a round loaf. Place onto prepared pan, brush with more oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut decorative slash marks into the surface of the dough, about ½" deep. Place a pan of cold water at the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.