Black olives are a concentrate of what the beautiful Mediterranean coast has to offer… deep aromas, strong flavours and plump fleshes. Put these salty gems into a classic baguette and you have yourself a summer-perfect, savory loaf.
Today’s recipe, a Mediterranean Black Olive Baguette, is adapted from Chef Nini’s Sundried Tomato, parmesan and olive baguette – a very talented French food blogger. The major difference being that I decided to let the little delicious black olives shine on their own.
This recipe will make two small baguettes. These savory loaves have a light-gold color with a delicately crunchy outside. The inside is soft and chewy, with generous bubbles letting the intense salty flavor of the black olives shine through in every bite of this loaf.
I enjoyed how this recipe was surprisingly easy, and didn’t require a starter to be made the day before – which, truth to be told, makes it less intimidating and more accessible to novice bakers.
Black olives have such a beautiful depth of flavor, that this rustic baguette can simply be savored on its own. But for some extra French-factor, you can also enjoy it with some mild cheeses (soft or firm will both work here), such as a cow’s milk camembert, a tome de brebis or a soft rind goat’s milk cheese. But I suggest you avoid strong cheeses (such as blue or smoked cheese) – which will probably clash with the strong flavor of the black olives.
Note: Any variety of black olives will work in the recipe, from the milder Kalamata olives to the intense Nyon olives.
Looking for more olive bread recipe? Try this French boule bread with rosemary and olives. An even more rustic bread, with a nice shareable round shape, that will keeps its moisture longer than a classic baguette.
Mediterranean Black Olive BaguettePrint This
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (5.5 grams)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons black olives – pitted and coarsely chopped.
½ cup water
In big mixing bowl, mix all together (by hand or in a stand mixer) the flour, the yeast, the salt and the olives. Add in the water, and knead for 4-5 minutes, until you get a “semi-rough-semi-smooth” dough, that should still stick a bit to the bowl edges.
Grease a bowl with olive oil and place the ball-shaped dough at the bottom. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and let it rise for 2 hours, at room temperature, until the dough doubles in size. Deflate the dough (punch it!), turn it over, reshape it as a ball, and let it rest 1 additional hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, roll into a rough log and divide it in 2 equal parts. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 15 minutes.
Fold each log in half, lengthwise, and roughly seal the edges with your fingers. Flip each log seam side down, and gently roll them into 12” logs. Note: you can choose to point-shape the ends of the logs (gently with your fingers) to create the classic baguette look, or keep the end flat to create the classic ciabatta look.
Place the two baguettes onto a parchment-lined baking tray, cover again with a cloth, and let the loaves rise for one hour, at room temperature, until they almost double in size again.
Preheat your oven at 450°F. Place an oven-proof bowl with water in the oven, to create steam (this will create the crispy outside of the baguettes.)
Bake the baguettes for 20 to 22 minutes, until they reach a lightly-golden hue.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Note: Or, for crispier baguettes, turn off your oven, crack it open about 2″, and allow the baguettes to cool in the oven.
These small baguettes are best enjoyed the same day.
We are French by the bread, it defines us, it shapes us. When you talk about bread, you talk about yourself, about your daily life, your family, your story, about society, about the crisis…” Abu Gnaba, French Anthropologist.