Whole-Wheat Olive Loaf

You can toast this bread and serve it with soup for dipping—— delish! This is also a superb bread to give as a gift. Wrap a loaf in a tea towel, using the ends to tie it up.

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

Serves: 10


  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1¾ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ cup chopped black olives
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper


  • Mix the wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Cover and let rise for 5 hours.
  • Use a spoon to deflate the sponge. Mix the honey, olive oil, and salt with the risen dough and add enough bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough is so thick you can no longer stir it with a spoon. Knead the remaining flour into the dough inside the bowl until moist, but no longer sticky. Cover dough again and let rise for another 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle a little bread flour on a clean work surface and place risen dough on top and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Combine olives with the garlic and black pepper in a small bowl then work the olive mixture into the dough. Form into a round and move the loaf to a baking sheet sprinkled with flour. Use a sharp knife to score a deep cross into the top of the loaf and dust with flour. Place in a warm spot and cover loosely with a damp cloth. Let the loaf rise another 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake 30–40 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool before slicing.