Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Village Loaf: Olive and Pecorino Sourdough

What's that saying...... it takes a village to raise a loaf?

This olive and pecorino is very much all of my baking inspirations rolled into one loaf.

The base recipe is Celia's overnight sourdough recipe with some of my readings of Paul Hollywood and Dan Lepard and a quick consult with the twitter brains trust thrown in.

My main concern about this loaf was just when to add my bits, the concern of many a young man throughout history.

There was the thought of would the salty olives slow down the yeast and should they be added at the second prove? Or would the cheese cause a food safety nightmare being at room temperature while proving?

In the end the brains trust validated my original leanings,  whack it all in at once!

I have another loaf on the go as I'm writing so this recipe with also include some on the changes I've made since the first loaf.

Olive and Pecorino Sour Dough


  • 100g grated (or cubed) pecorino
  • 250g mixed olives (I used black, kalamata and Sicilian)
  • 300g bubbling starter at 100% hydration
  • 600ml water
  • 1kg strong flour
  • 10g salt


  • Grate or cube the pecorino
  • Pit and/or roughly slice the olive if not using pitted (still check for pits!!)
  • Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine
  • Leave for about 30 minutes
  • Knead the loaf by slapping it around the bowl for about 3 minutes till smooth
  • Remove the dough, give the bowl a light coat of oil and add the dough back
  • Cover and let prove for about 8-12 hours or till just about doubled (in the fridge will maintain food safety)
  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Shape the loaf (I found the 1 kg with the moist dough flattened out a bit)
  • Add to cold enamel pot/goose roster that has be sprinkled with semolina (with cheese cubed version I am adding some baking paper to assist with not sticking)
  • Let loaf prove for about 40 minutes
  • Give a deep slash
  • Place roaster in oven lid on and bake for 30 minutes
  • Reduce oven to 180°C, remove lid and bake for further 20 minutes
  • To crisp the crust it can have a further 5 minutes out of the roaster on the shelf or on a baking stone
  • Allow to cool before slicing
  • I highly recommend enjoy with some prosciutto and some extra olives
  • In the version I am making now, it is a 500g flour loaf but keeping the same amount of olives and cubed cheese, will report back on outcome.

Go for whichever olives you prefer, I like the mix for the colour

I'm hoping the smaller loaf will keep a taller shape

This loaf have the pecorino grated rather than cubed
 The 500g loaf (1/2 recipe but same quantity olives + cheese)
I recommend cubing the cheese, pockets of joy!!

What are your favourite bits to add to bread? 
Rosemary, garlic, bacon.....mmmmm bacon??


  1. Great colour and shape! I like the look of the flatter version too, would look good on an antipasto platter?

    1. Now antipasto that's brilliant thinking! Was so good with prosciutto!

  2. Well that's another mega loaf. You say it takes a village. Luckily you have many of them on tap at all hours of the day or night! cheers Fiona

  3. I have been craving an olive loaf for a while now! Great looking bread Jason :)

  4. This is brilliant! I just made my first sourdough loaf today, courtesy of the Awesome Ms. Cecilia's Priscilla. Next loaf is going to have olives and pecorino. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Marilyn in California, AKA Maz the Toymaker

    1. Thanks Marilyn, look forward to see your loaves.
      I'm thinking rosemary, garlic and cheese will have to be on this to do list!

  5. PS I'm thinking yellow sultanas and pine nuts would be good too.

  6. Fantastic. I have been meaning to give sourdough a go.
    As for bits, I really think olive bread is one of my favourites.

    1. Thanks Nicole, sourdough is so much love, I'm making the call "my favourite bread making"! Good luck on your journey