Black Olive Sesame Spelt Bread

Labels: { , } | © 2013 | | © 2013 |

This is one of my favourite bread recipes from Dan Lepard, via Guardian. It is studded generously with black olives and coated with a mix of sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, sumac, and lemon zest. Since the spelt flour (I used bread spelt flour here) is more “water soluble” than wheat, therefore, using the same amount of liquid will result in a more sticky dough. Thus, if you plan to use wheat flour, then you need 250ml of liquid that the original recipe calls for, instead of 220ml that I used for this spelt version.

  • 330 g Black olives in brine
  • 1 tsp Instant dried yeast
  • 1 tsp Dark brown sugar
  • 50 g sesame seeds, plus an extra tablespoon to finish
  • 350 g Organic spelt bread flour, plus more for shaping
  • Olive oil, for kneading
  • 1 tbsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Sumac, optional but good
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  1. Strain the olives, then measure the liquid and top up with warm water to make 210ml. Put the strained olives and the liquid into a bowl, then stir in the yeast, sugar and 50g of sesame seeds. Add the spelt bread flour, mix to a soft, sticky dough, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn out the dough on a lightly oiled work surface, then give the dough a short, 10-second knead. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes more. Repeat this quick knead twice more at 10-minute intervals, then leave the dough, covered, for 90 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line the base of a tray with nonstick baking paper, grind the herbs as fine as you can, then tip on to a large dinner plate and mix with a tablespoon of sesame seeds, the sumac (if using) and lemon zest. On another plate, have ready a wet square of kitchen towel.
  4. Pat the dough into a rectangle on a clean worktop dusted with a little flour, then roll it up tightly into a snug scroll, making sure all the olives are tucked in. Next, tightly roll the ends of the loaf, so they pinch in and the loaf has a shape a bit like a lemon. Roll the loaf on the wet towel, then roll it in the herb and spice mix.
  5. Place on the tray seam-side down, cover and leave to rise for 90 minutes. Slash the top and bake at 220C/425F for about 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp. | © 2013 | | © 2013 | | © 2013 | | © 2013 |


Anne ~ Uni Homemaker 26/5/13 07:54

I love olive bread. And the sesame seeds give it such lovely texture! Add some butter on this and I'm a happy camper. Great post Angie. :)

Anonymous 26/5/13 11:10

I often worry that olives will overpower the taste of bread but this looks delicious and I love sesame seeds.
:-) Mandy xo

Rosa's Yummy Yums 26/5/13 11:11

Olive bread tastes so good! Yours looks marvelous.



Maria Zioga 26/5/13 11:45

This is lovely looking bread! I am certain it tasted even better!!

Veena Theagarajan 26/5/13 11:50

super soft bread..healthy too.. must try

Guru Uru 26/5/13 12:13

Such a soft and delicious salty bread :D


Beth 26/5/13 13:30

That is one gorgeous loaf of bread! No wonder it's one of your favourites.

Ivy 26/5/13 13:54

It looks so tempting. Love making olive breads!

Anne Regalado 26/5/13 14:04

Angie , one of your best bread yet :) Lovely flavor and texture . Beautifully-baked and I bet pretty yummy as well !

Sebeena Loyd 26/5/13 14:31

love olive bread. yours look so delicious.

Experiencefood 26/5/13 16:29

Lovely bread. And sumac - great addition! I think sumac is highly underused.

Ilke 26/5/13 16:54

I'll be darned! I just sat down to take a look at your site for spelt bread recipes and there it is on the first page :) I made a list of recipes to try from other sites but I knew you would have a great one.

I have regular spelt flour, I have not seen for bread. Will give it a try and see how it happens. I have everything else at home, sumac, sesame seeds, black olives, type...good to go ...:)

Fimère 26/5/13 17:53

moelleux et tendre avec le craquant des graines de sésame bravo
bon dimanche

Ann Low 26/5/13 17:53

Angie, when are you going to open a bakery shop? I want to be your first customer!

Rosita Vargas 26/5/13 19:39

Magnífico pan un regalo para la vista y el paladar me encanta,abrazos y abrazos.

Elisabeth Foodandthrift 26/5/13 20:26

Angie, I'm totally drooling over your delicious and super amazing bread...this is my kind of Artisan bread; sesame seeds, black olives, spelt flour...OMG, it's to 'die for'. Gotta try this recipe asap. Will have to get some spelt flour from our local Whole Foods Market; they carry everything, and especially organic stuff! xo

Liz Berg 26/5/13 21:18

This may be my favorite bread of yours yet! I love, love olive bread....what a terrific looking loaf :)

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes 26/5/13 22:14

I love olive bread, and am very intrigued by the sumac in the dough. Very good recipe Angie!

Blog do Chocolate 26/5/13 22:18


Lovely bread, this one you brought to us !
It looks delicious and very healthy !

Have a nice week ! :)


Chris Scheuer 26/5/13 22:55

Yum, I'm imagining this with a delicious Greek salad! It looks fantastic Angie. You're a bread rock star for sure! :)

Santosh Bangar 26/5/13 23:20

excellent perfect baking bread clicls are super

Belinda 26/5/13 23:40

I'm just imagining how great your house must always smell.

Kelly Mulcair Registered Nutritionist. Content © 2011 Trinity Nutrition. 27/5/13 00:44

I'm just amazed by your culinary dexterity Angie -- hee.hee, seriously, your range and diversity is just amazing to me. Whether it's a salad, main, dessert or bread, you excel at everything you do and your presentations are always so gorgeous!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen 27/5/13 01:42

There is a favorite bakery that makes bread with olives that I love. It would be wonderful to create this at home with your recipe.

OohLookBel 27/5/13 01:55

I wish I could bake bread like you - it would certainly save me from visiting the baker to get my fix of black olive bread. It's my favourite, and your version with sumac sounds divine.

Asmita 27/5/13 02:10

This bread looks delicious!!!

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez 27/5/13 02:21

What an absolutely gorgeous loaf, Angie - and it sounds like it tastes fantastic, as well.

Lora 27/5/13 03:02

One of your best ever. Love this!

suhaina aji 27/5/13 03:04

You are a pro in bread making. I admire ur great skills Angie. Bread looks fantastic and love the addition of sumac in it

Velva 27/5/13 03:11

It is indeed a beautiful bread recipe!


Medeja 27/5/13 04:21

I guess you already forgot the way to the bakery :))) I would never go to the bakery if I knew how to make so many different breads! I think I would love this one without olives though :D

Jeannie Tay 27/5/13 04:24

A really wonderful looking loaf indeed! I love looking at your bread photos!

Monica 27/5/13 04:54

Wow - that is some amazing, professional looking bread! I love the tons of sesame seeds on it; I love sesame loaves and sesame bagels. I have still not yet made bread yet so this might be a challenge for me down the line. In the meantime, I'll admire your gorgeous pictures!

Gerry @Foodness Gracious 27/5/13 07:51

Olive bread is the best, dipped in a good oil and sprinkled with a little sea salt...yummmmm!

Rita Bose 27/5/13 08:18

You always manage to make the perfect and drool-some loaf of bread! :)

Mich Piece of Cake 27/5/13 09:29

This is such a beautiful loaf and I love the black olives showing on the bread. Makes it look so stunning.

kitchen flavours 27/5/13 09:36

Gorgeous loaf, Angie! I've actually bookmarked to make this bread months ago, and never did get round to it! Looks so good!

Edith C 27/5/13 11:13

Angie, you are such a bread expert. Wish I am your neighbour.

Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today 27/5/13 11:40

I can understand why it's one of your favorites. My T. brought home an olive bread lately and it was too good to forget about :)

Lenia 27/5/13 13:12

What a delicious loaf of bread!Rustic and irresistible!

Shweta Agrawal 27/5/13 13:16

So colourful and refreshing..Nice pics :)

The Yum List 27/5/13 14:13

Ooh, I'm imagining this with a big bowl of tomato soup.

Alida 27/5/13 14:47

Olive bread is so tasty and makes a great snack. Add some sesame and it is just perfect! Very nice Angie.

Norma Chang 27/5/13 14:52

Love olive and sesame seeds so will love this bread. Smeared with a pat of butter, a salad and a bowl of soup, I'm in heaven.

Violeta Pasat 27/5/13 15:06

Angie,this bread looks amazing!I can only imagine the smell in your kitchen while it was baking.

Susan 27/5/13 15:24

What a lovely, rustic bread. Black olives will always remind me of my girls, putting them on their fingers before eating them! I love this kind of bread with a delicious bowl of soup. Wish I lived close by to bake with you, XOXO

Angie 27/5/13 21:07

Looks amazing ...I have bought spelt loaves, in farm shops, but never baked with ...maybe I should try this.

Ilke 27/5/13 21:52

Hey Angie, just made this today. I did not have olives in brine, so added about 1 tsp salt and about 200 gr of pitted black olives (Turkish olives I find here are dry-vacuum packed).
It is great. We just had several slices already. I love the sumac, lemon zest and thyme combination on the bread. While it was baking, it smelled so savory and good.
Thanks :)

Priya Suresh 27/5/13 22:08

Wat a crust,wat a texture and wat a stunning bread.

Martha@SeasideSimplicity 27/5/13 22:45

Hi Angie, This bread looks heavenly! Thanks for stopping by today. I sure hope to get back to making regular rounds on my favorite blogs again soon :)

Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style 27/5/13 23:06

Love this, Angie! What an incredible mix of flavors!

Jasna Varcakovic 28/5/13 00:05

Your bread looks awesomely good... I make bread regularly, but haven't try spelt flour yet; thanks for the recipe.

Kitcheninspirations 28/5/13 02:23

I'm loving that you've used the olive brine in this bread, it must make it heavenly. Black olive bread is one of my favourites for sure.

Tessa @ Feral Kitchen 28/5/13 02:55

Great work Angie! Such a lovely loaf of bread!

Betty 28/5/13 03:11

What a beautiful bread! Love the black olives. :)

Gloria Baker 28/5/13 03:30

Angie this bread look fantastic:)

Esther Lau 28/5/13 04:34

Angie,you're so good on making healthy and delicious breads! :)

Angie Schneider 28/5/13 06:33

@Ilke Ilke, I am so GLAD that you enjoyed the bread as much as I did. Dan Lepard has some really amazing recipes.

Anonymous 28/5/13 12:50

I'm a huge fans of kalamata olives....
i've try some dinner roll with kalamata and the olives is mashed ove by kneadinf
i think i would add the olives at the end of the kneading process to made it whole when cut like you did Angie
well done!

Katerina 28/5/13 16:27

Olive bread is my favorite and this one looks absolutely irresistible!

Pam 28/5/13 17:21

What a gorgeous loaf of bread!

Koko 28/5/13 17:28

Olive bread is so good, and I love that you adapted the recipe to use spelt flour. I always struggle a bit with the ratio of liquid to flour when converting to spelt!!

Erika 28/5/13 19:04

This bread looks so fabulous! So pro :) Olive, sesame and spelt sounds like such a great combo--I want to try this!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz 28/5/13 20:37

Once again, amazing bread Angie. I really like a bread with black olive and your topped crust sounds full of flavor.

Sherri @ The Well Floured Kitchen 28/5/13 20:43

This looks delicious. Will try as soon as I get my next order of spelt berries.

Anonymous 28/5/13 22:06

I agree with another commenter, when are you going to open your own bakery? I know you'd be highly successful! This is just another recipe to prove it :)

Amy 28/5/13 22:46

Your healthy loaf brad are always so beautiful. I love those black olives going through all over the loaf. My little girl loves olives, except the black one. Maybe I'll use a different kind of olive to see if it'll work. :) Thanks for sharing.

Lail | With A Spin 28/5/13 23:37

Love the olive addition to the bread :)

Soni 29/5/13 00:55

Love Black Olives and its such a great addition to the bread!! Would love a bite right now :)

Anonymous 29/5/13 02:12

Love this bread! Yours is beautiful. :)

Reeni 29/5/13 02:28

What a gorgeous bread Angie! I want to eat that up with some pasta! Perfect.

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies 29/5/13 03:19

I love olives in bread--so salty and delicious! :D

Oksana 29/5/13 03:48

OMG Angie, this looks amazing. I absolutely love bread, but whole grain takes the prize. And I was just telling my husband over the weekend how much I love olives. Looks amazing!

mjskit 29/5/13 04:18

A local bakery makes a black olive bread which I love, but it's nothing like this. I'm sure it doesn't have spelt and I know it's not coated in sesame seeds. Having become a huge fan of spelt (thanks to you), I can see me making this bread. Just love the olives, the herbs, and the zest as well. Fabulous bread Angie!

Juliana 29/5/13 05:23

Oh Angie, this bread looks great, love the texture and the olives sure add a nice flavor to it...
Have a great week :)

Barbara 29/5/13 14:27

I've always wanted to make a bread with black olives...don't know why I haven't. This looks wonderful, Angie!

Natalie G 29/5/13 14:44

I am obsessed with black olive bread so this recipe is a must try for me!

Joanne 29/5/13 14:49

I love olives baked into bread! What a great loaf!

Helene Dsouza 29/5/13 15:31

Olives herbs and sesame in a bread must taste amazing. A love the Mediterranean vibes in your bread angie, especially sesame is my favorite topping.

RavieNomNoms 29/5/13 16:16

Another gorgeous bread as usual!

Cristina 29/5/13 16:31

Angie, you never cease to amaze me and the beautiful food you make. Love this gorgeous bread (especially with the sesame and olives!). Just delicious! Going on my bread pin board!

Amelia 29/5/13 17:20

Hi Angie, you're the bread Queen maker. All your bread look extremely good and professional. Excellent presentation and nice pictures.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert 29/5/13 18:43

I just love black olives and those toasted sesame seeds are enticing! Love that flavor.

lena 29/5/13 19:13

angie, not sure abt sumac...gorgeous loaf as always! you make the prettiest bread!

Daniela Grimburg 29/5/13 20:50

Olive bread is one of my favorites.
This recipe has as addition all these wonderful Mediterranean herbs, it looks superb. Thanks for sharing Angie!

Spicie Foodie 29/5/13 21:59

What a wonderful bread, it would become one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing Angie:)

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking 29/5/13 22:37

You always make and photograph the most beautiful breads, Angie! This one's a winner!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover 30/5/13 00:56

I think this healthy bread dip with curry also nice , hehehe. Another healthy treat for your family !

Rebecca Subbiah 30/5/13 02:46

this looks amazing as do all of your breads :-)

Abbe@This is How I Cook 30/5/13 04:54

I am so glad I did not miss this post. I love olive bread and I especially love it in the summer when I can stick slices on the grill to toast. Sumac? I love sumac. Angie, you are incredible!

Dawn Yucuis 30/5/13 05:09

This looks a delicious bread, full of flavor.

Tze @ Awayofmind 30/5/13 06:37

Angie, your bread is always perfectly baked! you should consider opening a bakery shop! I love anything with olive, this bread for sure is delicious!

Hema 30/5/13 15:19

I have never tasted bread with olives, this looks so good..

Jennifer Kendall 30/5/13 19:43

your breads are always incredible - looks super delicious!

Kathy 1/6/13 13:43

Beautiful healthy looking bread! There’s nothing like a good loaf of bread!

lisa is cooking 2/6/13 01:27

The coating on top sounds fantastic. I have to try this bread!

Patty Price 2/6/13 02:13

Such a beautiful rustic bread-love the olives ;-)

Tiffany 2/6/13 19:45

I've been playing with spelt and absolutely love it! It's so nutty and hearty! This bread would be my perfect next recipe! :D

Terra 4/6/13 03:28

My hubby and I go through cans of black olives, they are that addicting! Now we definitely need to enjoy this gorgeous bread, it really sounds so delicious:-) Hugs, Terra

GI 365 - Kari Peters 21/6/13 18:12

I'm new to spelt so I really appreciated the tip about how water reacts with spelt as opposed to wheat - and...this looks amazing!

Anonymous 24/6/13 22:08

I made this bread yesterday it was quite good, though I made some miss steps, so it was a little flat and dense. Also think you made a typo on the olive vs flour ratio 330gx350g?


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