The flavors in this rustic Rosemary Olive Bread made for an out-of-the-ordinary, irresistible loaf! And the aroma from the oven was incredibly enticing, like what wafts from the bread basket at a top-notch Italian restaurant. And now you can make it at home!

Rosemary Olive Bread in a blue Dutch oven

Why You Should Make this Olive Loaf

Growing up, I would have balked at a slice of bread speckled with Kalamata olives. Granted, I was a fan of the humdrum olives of the ’70s. Dumped out of a can or jar onto a crudité platter for the holidays, olives always trumped radishes and celery.

  • The black olives and rosemary in this bread bring a taste of Italy to your table.
  • If you love baking yeast bread, this is a delicious recipe to try.
  • Baking bread in a Dutch oven guarantees a beautiful round loaf!

But it was decades later that I had my first bite of an olive studded bread. It took me a moment to decipher the mystery flavor, but I was an instant fan. I was thrilled when I baked up this rosemary olive bread at home!

Rosemary Olive Bread slices on a white plate with fresh rosemary and olives

Olive Yeast Bread Recipe

The yeast bread recipe I used for guidance called for baking in a cloche. Well, first of all, I didn’t know what that was. And, obviously, I didn’t own one. Made of clay, a cloche will hold the steam that’s produced during baking creating a crusty exterior and soft interior. I had previously  baked bread in my Le Creuset Dutch oven, so I figured it would make a reasonable substitution.

A Few Tips for Making a Yeast Bread

  • Make sure your yeast hasn’t expired. It’s no fun to go through all the work of making a loaf of bread to find out the yeast wasn’t fresh, so check the date on the package. When in doubt, buy new yeast.
  • Proof your bread in a warm area in your kitchen. PRO-Tip: 80 degrees is the ideal temperature for proofing bread. If your oven has a “proof” setting, you’re in luck. If not you can add a pan of very hot water to your oven to warm the space for your bread to rise. Check the temperature of your proofing site to make sure it’s not too hot.
  • Forcing your dough to rise will result in a substandard loaf. Forcing is when you place the dough in a spot that’s warmer than 110-115 degrees.
  • Do not add in too much flour, just enough so your loaf is not too sticky. The amount will vary depending on the humidity of your locale. Usually, a range is given, so don’t assume you need to add all the flour.
  • If you have a powerful mixer with a dough hook, it makes easy work of the kneading process. Your dough is ready when it’s elastic and smooth.
  • PRO-Tip: Bake your bread until the internal temperature is 190 degrees.
Overhead view of Rosemary Olive Bread in a Dutch oven

Bread Dipping Oil

I put a half cup of chopped olives along with some minced rosemary to flavor this loaf. Bill, not exactly a fan of any olive beside the classic green with a red pimento center, gave this bread high praise. I truly didn’t expect a positive reaction. I loved dipping my slices of this Rosemary Olive Bread in seasoned extra virgin olive oil.

To make a bread dipping oil, pour a robust extra virgin olive oil onto saucers or shallow dishes. Generously sprinkle with seasoning salt, I used Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning. Then sprinkle with Italian Herbs (I use Penzey’s brand). Feel free to add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes if you want some heat or any of your favorite herbs.

Add even more olives for a bigger punch of olive flavor. This recipe bakes into quite a large loaf and it could handle even sliced olive to provide more intense olive flavor. Though that might backfire as the more subtle olive taste was Bill approved! But he could surprise me again.

Rosemary Olive Bread in a wicker basket

More Bread Recipes You’ll Love:

This bread was originally shared in February 2015. Photos and text were updated in 2020 (pandemic baking craze!).

Sliced Rosemary Olive Bread on a small, white ceramic plate

Rosemary Olive Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 1 large loaf

Rosemary and kalamata olives flavor this crusty loaf with a tender crumb. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.


  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast (Red Star Premium preferred)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup (or more---feel free to double!) pitted and chopped or sliced Kalamata olives
  • 5 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the yeast and water.
  2. Add the olives, flours, rosemary, and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball.
  4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch the dough down and shape it into a tight ball, pinching the seams closed.
  6. Place the loaf in a large, lightly greased cast iron Dutch oven and dust the top with flour. Cover with the lid and let rise for 40 minutes.
  7. Using a serrated knife, slash a shallow X across the top of the loaf. Preheat an oven to 400°.
  8. Cover and bake (put foil around lid knob if not oven safe up to 400º) until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 1 hour.
  9. Cool, slice and eat with butter or seasoned olive oil.
  10. Makes 1 loaf.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 446mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g


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