How to Make Olive Bread

Learning how to make olive bread results in a very delicious addition to your special meals or simply to a hot bowl of soup. Most of us love great homemade breads hot out of our ovens. By adding olives before baking the bread you are actually adding more flavor. Depending on what type of olives you choose to add will determine much of the flavor. One type of olive can be added or a combinations of two or more. 

The difference between green olives and black olives is the degree of ripeness. Consider this fact when you are learning how to make olive bread to determine the taste you want to achieve. Black olives are the ripest but there are degrees of ripeness from green to black. To me, the taste of green olives verses the black olive is like eating two different products completely. The black olive is so mild compared to the green ones because they are not fermented. Of course, there is a differing to the taste depending where the olives are grown. The biggest difference is in the preserving of the olives.

Below is a list of some of the many different types of olives in the markets. This might get you started on deciding what kind you want to try. I have given just a brief description but if you are interested in certain ones, there is a lot of information available. I find a lot of great jars of olives in stores like Ross, Marshalls and Tuesday Mornings. When I learned how to make olive bread and other olive recipes, I found these places to offer a lot. The ones I found at these stores are usually good brands not available in the supermarkets and at great prices.

NOTE: When learning how to make olive bread do not be afraid to use other olives instead of the ones called for in the recipe; also try mixing olives.

The CERIGNOLA OLIVE is grown in Cerignola, Italy. It is a large green olive which has crispness and somewhat a buttery taste,

The PICHOLINE is a green French olive. It is cured in salt brine so it naturally has a salty taste. Sometimes citric acid is added to the solution to preserve them.

The MANZANILLA olive is Spanish green olive which is cured with lye. It is firm and meaty with a smoky nutty and bitter taste. This olive is well known for making the martini drink.

The GORDAL olive is a green jumbo Spanish olive known as the “fat olive”. They are cured with a brine and then can be prepared in different ways. Sometimes they are stuffed with different ingredients. They are beautiful to serve on a buffet of special table.

The CASTELVETRANO olive is from Valle del Belice, a region in southwestern Sicily. This pale green medium size olive has a crisp texture and mild buttery taste. This olive is mostly grown for making olive oil.

The LIGURIA olive from the Liguria region of Italy is also known as the Tagglasca olive. This olive has a color variation as it is picked when turning green. It is known to produce the world’s best olive oil. The olives are small with very low acidity yielding a sweet and never bitter taste

The NYON olive (Name given to the Tanche olive) is a black olive with a slight green tinge from Nyons, France (Auvergne-Rhone-Alps, France). It is cured with dry salt followed by a bring soaking.  It is known for large pits and sweet (Slight bitterness) meaty flavor. 

The NICOISE olive is a small black wrinkled French olive. Color ranges from deep brown to black and is used for both the olives and to make olive oil. The olives are cured with natural sea salt and often packed with herbs and stems in place.  It is known to have a rich, nutty mellow flavor and a high pit to meat ratio. 

The PONENTINA olive is an Italian black olive with a mild flavor. It is salt cured in brine and then packed in vinegar.  

The GAETA olive is a small ripe Italian olive with wrinkled appearance. They can be dry salt cured or in brine and then rubbed with oil. This olive has a mild flavor and often is packed with herbs such as rosemary.

The LUGANO olive is from Lugano, Switzerland although often considered to be an Italian olive. (Actually, the Greeks settled this area and discovered olives could be grown here.) The Lugano olive is a very popular black olive which is salty and sometimes comes packed with olive leaves.

The KALAMATA olive is from the area of Kalamata, Greece. It is a large smooth dark purple olive with a meaty texture. They are shaped like an almond and are picked when fully ripened by hand to prevent bruising. This ripe olive has a rich fruity flavor and is preserved in vinegar and olive oil.   

The ALFONSO olive is a large deep purple olive from South America. This olive is brine cured in vinegar and has soft meaty texture.

The MISSION olive was developed in California by Spanish missions in late 18th century. It has the lowest flesh to pit ratio of any olive and the greatest cold resistance. Olives harvested between December and February are used to make olive oil. The olives harvested from late October through November are for table use.

The BELDI olive form Morocco is a small wrinkled black skinned olive with a chewy texture. Salt brine curing leaves a salty, rich earthly and slightly bitter taste; some call it a bold fruit flavor.

The AMFISSA olive is a “style” prepared from the Conservolea olive. They are grown in Central Greece for both green and black olives and for olive oil. Both green and black (Actually a dark purple) are cured in brine. The green Amfissa is briny and buttery with a tint of tart citrus.


Learn how to make olive bread with cheese and herbs.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Small onion (Finely chopped)
  • ¾ Cup finely chopped black olives (Drain on paper towels)
  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons PLUS 1 teaspoon sugar (Divided)
  • 1 ¼ Cups warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ Cups shredded Cheddar cheese (Divided)
  • 1 to 2 Cups all purpose flour

Melt butter in a small skillet; add onions and sauté until golden.

Add olives and stir into mixture; set off to cool.

Combine yeast, 1 TEASPOON sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl.

Let yeast mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.

Add 2 TABLESPOONS sugar, onion mixture, salt, mustard and seasoning to yeast.

Stir in whole wheat flour and 1 CUP of Cheddar until combined.

Stir in enough all purpose flour to make a soft dough coming away from sides.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Continue kneading about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in greased bowl turning to coat sides; cover with plastic wrap and towel.

Place in warm spot; let rise until doubled in bulk about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and shape into a loaf; place in a greased loaf pan (9X5 inches).

Cover lightly and let rise until doubled.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Brush top of bread with water; sprinkle with remaining ¼ CUP Cheddar cheese.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until bread sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

Remove bread from pan and cool completely on rack; makes 1 loaf.


How to Make Olive BreadHow to Make Olive Bread

Learn how to make olive bread with pepperoni.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • ¼ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 Cup warm milk (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 3 ½ Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced pepperoni (Divided)
  • 1 Cup chopped black olives (Divided)
  • 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese (Divided)

In large mixing bowl pour the warm water over the yeast; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat in with mixer the warm milk, sugar, salt and oil; beat in 1 CUP of the flour.

Add 1 ½ CUPS more of the flour; stir in by hand enough flour to make soft dough.

Turn out onto floured surface; Knead until smooth and elastic about 15 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl turning to coat top.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and cloth; let rise in warm place to double in bulk.

Punch dough down; turn out on floured surface and divide in half.

Roll each half into a long strip 12X6 inches.

Arrange ½ CUP pepperoni, ½ CUP olives and ½ CUP cheese down center of each.

Roll each up tightly to make long slender rolls; pinch along edge to seal.

Place rolls on greased baking sheet; cover lightly and let rise 30 to 40 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Bake bread 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Cool on wire rack before slicing; makes 2 loaves.


Parmesan Jalapeno Olive BreadParmesan Jalapeno Olive Bread

Learn how to make olive bread flavored with jalapenos and Parmesan cheese.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 1/4 Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1/3 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ Teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ Cup pickled jalapeno pepper slices (Drain; chop fine)
  • ¼ Cup pimiento stuffed green olives (Drain; chop fine)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated carrot

Combine yeast with ¼ cup warm water; let stand 5 minutes to dissolve.

In large bowl combine 3 cups of flour and next 9 ingredients; make well in center.

Add in well the yeast mixture, 1 cup warm water and olive oil; stir to moisten.

Stir in jalapeno, olives and carrot; turn out onto floured surface.

Knead until smooth about 5 minutes; place in greased bowl turning to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and a towel; place in warm place.

Let rise until doubled in bulk about 50 to 65 minutes.

Punch dough down; place in a large well greased loaf pan (9x5 inches). 

Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled about 60 minutes.

NOTE: Let rise to a little above top of pan.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove bread from pans immediately; cool on wire rack.


Learn how to make olive bread with stuffed green olives.

  • 5 Cups flour
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon ground savory
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 2 Cups pimento stuffed green olives (Sliced)
  • 2 Cups broken walnuts
  • ¼ cup chopped pimento

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease 2 loaf pans (9X5X3).

Sift flour and next 4 ingredients in large mixing bowl; set aside.

In another bowl beat eggs and milk until well blended.

Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients stirring until moistened.

Add olives, walnuts and pimentos; fold in to blend.

Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared pans.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Cool in pans 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack.

Makes 2 loaves.


Filled Herb Cheese and Olive BreadFilled Herb Cheese and Olive Bread

Learn how to make olive bread filled with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and herbs.

  • 2 Package dry yeast
  • 1 Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons solid shortening
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • About 6 cups flour


  • 2 Cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ Teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ Teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Cup pitted chopped olives (Kalamata or other or mixed)
  • 6 Medium sun dried tomatoes (Drain, pat dry and chop)
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped red onion

FOR BREAD dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

In heavy saucepan combine milk, sugar and shortening.

Heat milk until shortening melts; cool to 112F to 115F degrees.

Add milk mixture, beaten egg and 2 CUPS flour to yeast; stir until smooth.

Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; let rest 10 minutes.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic about 10 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl turning to coat; cover and set in warm place.

Let rise for 45 to 60 minutes until doubled in bulk; punch down.

Divide dough in half; roll each half into a rectangle about 9X12 inches.

Combine and mix all filling ingredients; spread half on each rectangle.

Beginning at short side roll up like jelly roll; pinch to seal end.

Place in 2 greased bread loaf pans (9X5); cover and let rise until doubled.


Bake loaves 35 to 45 minutes until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from pans and cool on rack; makes 2 loaves.