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Feb 3, 2015

Olive Campagne Boule

Olive Campagne Boule | #TwelveLoaves

This Olive Campagne Boule is one of my favorite breads for serving as an appetizer. The crust is super crunchy, and the interior is so incredibly moist. I love setting out small slices of the bread along with  a carafe of roasted garlic infused olive oil for dipping.

The dough for this bread is incredibly soft and supple, and even though it is a wet dough, it is really easy to handle.

Olive Campagne Boule | #TwelveLoaves

It is such a relief that this Olive Campagne Boule worked out. Every time I get a little confidence in my bread baking skills or a little too casual about what i'm doing (or not paying enough attention), it seems that drama ensues.

First, the shaped dough stuck to the banneton when I tried to turn it out. Once it released from the basket, it started to flatten out. When I lifted it into a hot Dutch oven, the dough caught on one side and the loaf got hung up like a hammock. Aaack! I shoved it down with a knife, slashed the dough, covered it, stuck it in the oven, and crossed my fingers.

Fortunately, the hot oven did its thing and the bread recovered just fine. The only evidence was a few wrinkles on the side of the loaf where I pushed the dough down.

Olive Campagne Boule | #TwelveLoaves

I used kalamata olives, but any type of olive would be good in this bread. While I made mine with a starter, I've included instructions for creating a "short cut" starter with instant yeast.

To find more bread made with olives, check out the links from the #TwelveLoaves bakers after the recipe.

Olive Campagne Boule | #TwelveLoaves

Olive Campagne Boule Recipe


69 g active starter (100% or less hydration)
153 g room temperature water
270 g unbleached all purpose flour
30 g whole wheat flour

Mix the ingredients in a stand mixer until smooth. Place the dough into an oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Let ferment at room temperature overnight.

If you don't have a starter, you can create a biga with 153 g of water, 270 g of all purpose flour, 30 g of whole wheat flour, and a pinch of instant yeast. Cover and let sit overnight, until it is quite puffy. Also, add about 1/4 tsp of yeast to the final dough.

Final Dough Ingredients

126 g firm starter
506 g water at 80 degrees F
704 g unbleached all purpose flour
19 g fine sea salt or non-iodized table salt
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half


  1. Put the starter and water in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix it with the paddle attachment on low for about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the flour and stir a few times to moisten the flour. Mix on low with the paddle attachment for two minutes.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and let the dough sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and mix with the dough hook on low for 6 minutes. 
  5. Scrape the dough out onto the counter, and press the olives into the dough (the olives will distribute evenly as you stretch and fold the dough). Form the dough into a ball and and place it in a large oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  6. Do three stretch-and-folds, once every thirty minutes, covering the bowl/bucket each time. 
  7. After the final stretch and fold, place the dough container in a spot in your house that is warm, and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. The dough will have bubbles on top. 
  8. Pre-shape the dough into a ball and place it seam side down on the counter. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  9. Turn the dough over, and shape it into a ball.
  10. Flip the dough over, seam sided down, and drag the dough toward you on the counter to tighten the outside by cupping it with your hands on the other side of the loaf. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, and drag it again. Rotate a couple more times. The purpose of this is to encourage the loaf to rise up, not out like a pancake. 
  11. Place the boule, seam side up, into a floured 9 inch basket or in a bowl lined with a floured tea towel. 
  12. Cover the dough, and let rise until quite puffy, two to three hours. 
  13. Place a large Dutch oven into your oven and preheat it to 450 degrees F. 
  14. When the dough is ready, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and uncover it. 
  15. Turn the dough out, seam side down, onto a piece of parchment. Slash the top of the dough in a pattern that you like, and place the dough, parchment and all, into the Dutch oven, cover with the lid, place it in the oven, and close the oven door. Reduce the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  16. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the bread is golden and has reached an internal temperature of about 205 degrees F. 
  17. Cool completely on a wire rack. 
This recipe was adapted from Della Fattoria Bread: 63 Foolproof Recipes for Yeasted, Enriched & Naturally Leavened Breads. I am completely smitten with the book. The forward is written by Thomas Keller, who used to order his breads for The French Laundry from Della Fattoria.

More bread recipes with olives: 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Not sure if my comment stuck, so I'll just briefly say this is one stunning, bakery worthy loaf!!!

    1. Don't you hate it when that happens? Thanks so much, Liz!

  2. I never would have guessed, because I think the loaf looks absolutely stunning. That crumb is just calling my name, pass me the garlic-infused olive oil!

  3. I learn so much from you each month-- your breads are gorgeous!! This morning the tid bit I picked up was about a "banneton"-- I admit I had to google it to see what it was. I am interested in trying one sometime. Do you use it for most breads or only particular types of dough?

    1. Thanks Holly! I use one for breads with high hydration (wet/sticky) doughs, so that they will hold their shape while rising.

  4. Mishaps, shmishaps! Clearly, the bread fairies were on your side because that is one stunning loaf of bread! That crumb is to die for and I love the pattern from the banneton. The Della Fattoria book is a worthy addition to any library–lots of really interesting breads. Thanks for the olive theme this month–everyone's breads were really inspiring.

    1. The bread fairies were definitely on my side. Thank you so much!!

  5. What beautiful bread! I love bread and I love olives, perfect!

  6. Thank you for sharing Karen that your work of boule beauty was not without a bit of struggle...It gives others (like me!) hope =) Your photos do a fantastic job showing the soft inside and crunchy outside. Bravo! And thank you for the inspiration and hosting =)

    1. Thank you so much Kim =) Believe me, just as I begin to master a recipe, there's always a curve ball. Ask the semolina loaf that landed in the trash two weeks ago, ha ha.

  7. Karen, when drama happens with me, the outcome is VERY different.... ;-). this is a gorgeous loaf, I happen to be. Kalamata -cheerleader all the way!

    1. Thank you Sally! I held my breath when I lifted the lid of the Dutch oven!

  8. What a GLORIOUS BREAD! Who wouldn't be proud of this loaf? :-)

  9. That's a sexy loaf of bread! Olives are my favorite and that crumb looks just perfect!

  10. The bread looks wonderful Karen and the open crumbs to there are very huge it must taste delicious and I also love Italian olives too and thank you so much for share the recipe ,love you post.

  11. This is one of the prettiest breads I've seen in a long time. The photo of the boule's interior is just stunning!

  12. Beautiful bread! It looks like you've taken to the stiff starter now and with excellent results, it's an amazing thing, right?

    I just love olives and almost always use kalamata, but have you tried using castelvetrano as well? I typically pick a few of these up, chop them up finely, and add to the dough. Just love the flavor of those suckers!

  13. Beautiful ... simply beautiful!

    I so wish I could cur off a piece, slather it with butter, and dig in right now!


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