Skillet Olive Bread

Skillet Olive Bread
Skillet Olive Bread

This is a no-knead bread that's easy on the hands and arms, and a simple introduction to yeast for the novice baker. The dough has two rises that will take about an hour and a half, so make sure you give yourself ample time to allow the yeast to do its job if you want this bread to be ready in time for dinner. This recipe makes a savory bread with a crisp crust and a soft, chewy interior.

When you set the bread aside to rise, put it in a spot that's free from drafts and can maintain an even temperature. If you don't plan to use your oven until it's time to bake the bread, that is an ideal spot. We like to use marinated black olives for their rich and oily flavor, though you can use any olive you prefer. Olives can be salty, so normally we would add salt to the dough but the olives do this for us. We absolutely recommend sprinkling salt on top of the loaf, since it adds terrific texture and crunch to the finished product. 

Once the bread has finished baking, remove it from the pan as quickly as possible. Oven-safe pans can retain heat for a very long time, so the bread may overcook and the olives may turn mushy if they're left in the cooking pan. This bread is not shelf stable, so you should eat it up quickly! If this recipe produces more bread than you were anticipating, you can freeze it and save it for later.

 Print Recipe

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine water, Demerara Sugar, and yeast. Water should be no warmer than 100°F; anything warmer may kill the yeast. Give the yeast a minute or two to start to bloom.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour to yeast water; stir to combine. 
  3. Stir in olives, 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning, and California Roasted Minced Garlic.
  4. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, stirring until thoroughly combined. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour. It should roughly double in size.
  6. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to an 8 inch cast iron or other oven-proof skillet, making sure bottom and sides are covered. Alternately, you can line your skillet with baker's parchment, and top that with olive oil. 
  7. Flour your hands, then transfer dough into a skillet. It will deflate a bit when you lift it from the proofing bowl, and should easily conform to the shape of the pan.
  8. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it proof again for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  10. Push your fingers into the top of the bread to create dimples. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Sprinkle top of the bread with remaining 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning and Coarse Salt.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is nicely browned.
  12. Remove from oven. Let it sit for a few minutes, to finish setting up, then remove the bread from the baking pan. Let it cool completely and serve.