Olive Oil Bread

Jane Smith from The Shady Baker has kindly shared her Olive Oil Bread Recipe with us.

What a beautiful staple to add to your repertoire to share amongst family and friends.


7g (one sachet) dried yeast

500g lukewarm water

750g baker’s flour or plain flour

1 tbsp sea salt

50 ml olive oil

20g unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp sesame or nigella seed (optional)



Dissolve the yeast in 50g of the lukewarm water and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.  Line two large baking trays with oven proof baking paper and set aside.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Add the remaining 450g of water, olive oil and the yeast mixture. Gradually work the liquid into the flour with your hands.  On a clean benchtop, knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until smooth, shiny and elastic.  Sprinkle the dough with a very small amount of extra flour if it is too sticky to knead.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour.  In the bowl, gently push the air out of the dough and give it a short knead.  Leave for 1 more hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 250°C. 

Using a dough divider, divide the dough in half.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place on the pre-prepared baking trays.  Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Using clean hands, gently push the dough out into a rectangular shape approximately 20cm x 30cm and 2cm thick. Using a little olive oil on your hands might make this easier.  Dimple the surface gently with your fingers.  Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with the seeds of your choice.

Place tray in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly risen and a rich golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Bread is best served warm or on the same day.

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Bridget Coulton