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    Olive Focaccia

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    Olive Focaccia

    If spring showers are keeping you indoors, warm your kitchen by baking this beautiful bread. It's packed with olives, garlic and olive oil and fragranced with herbs. Serve it warm from the oven, and tear it into pieces before dipping it into peppery extra virgin olive oil.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus rising and proving
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hours plus rising, proving and cooling 60 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10


    • 500g strong white flour
    • 1 sachet fast action/easybake yeast
    • 1 tsp fine salt
    • 1 tsp granulated sugar
    • 400ml warm water
    • 200g pitted black olives
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 8 tbsp olive oil
    • Sprigs of rosemary or thyme
    • Coarse sea salt


    1. Combine the flour, yeast, fine salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and add about 350ml of the water. Mix to a soft dough, adding more water if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (this should take about an hour).
    2. While waiting, roughly chop 2/3 of the olives and combine them with the chopped garlic and 4 tbsp of the olive oil.
    3. 'Knock back' the risen dough, kneading the gas out of it, then roll or stretch it out as much as possible into a rough square 35cm square. Spread the olive and garlic mixture over one half of the square, leaving a border of about 2cm. Wet this border, then fold the dough over to sandwich the olive filling. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5 and halve the remaining olives.
    4. With your fingers, poke deep dimples into the top of the dough. Arrange the halved olives evenly over the dough, and press them in slightly, then poke in the sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Finally, scatter the dough with coarse salt and drizzle all over with the remaining olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes until risen and golden, and allow to cool a little before serving.

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