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Green olive and herb sourdough bread

Green olive and herb sourdough bread

  • Author: Maurizio Leo
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 25 hours
  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Category: Bread, Sourdough
  • Cuisine: American


A hearty loaf of sourdough bread with salty, buttery green olives and herbes de Provence.



  • 28g medium-protein bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 28g whole wheat flour
  • 57g water
  • 28g ripe sourdough starter

Main Dough

  • 590g medium-protein bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 237g whole wheat flour
  • 203g Castelvetrano olives, pitted
  • 7g herbes de Provence
  • 606g water (water 1 + water 2)
  • 16g salt
  • 141g levain

Optional Topper

  • Use raw wheat bran as an optional topper to coat the dough after shaping


  1. Levain (9:00 a.m.)
    In a small bowl, mix and knead the Levain ingredients. Transfer to a small container, cover, and keep it at a warm temperature for 5 hours.
  2. Autolyse (1:00 p.m)
    In a medium mixing bowl, add the 590g medium-protein bread flour, 237g whole wheat flour, and 562g water 1 and mix until no dry bits remain. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1-hour.
  3. Mix (2:00 p.m.)
    Add the levain to the top of your dough already in the mixing bowl, and use a splash of the reserved water to moisten. Mix the levain thoroughly and slap and fold (or do folds in the bowl) for 5 minutes until the dough begins to smooth out and become elastic. Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl, covered, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the dough, then dissolve with the remaining reserved mixing water. Mix thoroughly. If the dough still feels very slack, continue to strengthen the dough in the bowl by stretching and folding (or do slap/fold on the counter) for a few minutes until it begins to tighten and come together. Transfer the dough to a container for bulk fermentation and cover. Rinse the olives and optionally chop; set aside.
  4. Bulk Fermentation (2:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
    This dough will need 3 sets of stretches and folds during bulk fermentation where the first set starts after 30 minutes into bulk fermentation and the subsequent sets are at 30-minute intervals. During the first set of stretches and folds, add the olives and herbs as you perform each stretch and fold. After the third set of stretches and folds, let the dough rest, covered, for the remainder of bulk fermentation.
  5. Divide and Preshape (6:00 p.m.)
    Lightly flour your work surface and scrape out your dough. Using your bench knife, divide the dough in half. Lightly shape each half into a round shape. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Shape (6:40 p.m.)
    Shape the dough into a round (boule) or oval (batard) and roll in the whole wheat bran to the top, if desired. Then, place the dough in proofing baskets.
  7. Proof (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the next day)
    Cover proofing baskets with reusable plastic and seal shut. Then, place both baskets into the refrigerator and proof overnight.
  8. Bake (The next day, bake at 9:00 a.m.)
    Preheat your oven with a baking surface or combo cooker/Dutch oven inside to 450°F (230°C).

    When the oven is preheated, remove your dough from the fridge, score it, and transfer it to the preheated baking surface or combo cooker. Bake for 20 minutes with steam. After this time, vent the steam in the oven or remove the lid (you can keep it in the oven or remove it) and continue to bake for 30 minutes longer. When done, the internal temperature should be around 204°F (95°C).

    Let the loaves cool for 2 hours on a wire rack before slicing.


  • Instead of Castelvetrano olives, use Frescatrano or any other pitted green olive