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Apr 16, 2021

Olive Oil Wreath Bread

This olive oil wreath bread makes a wonderful and flavorful pull-apart bread. Perfect for the center of your table. 

Olive oil wreath bread

This bread is flavored with fruity extra virgin olive oil, shaped into a ring, and then cut with scissors as you would a pain de èpi

Definitely use good extra virgin olive oil for added flavor. 

Olive oil wreath pull apart bread

The crust of this bread is very crispy and the crumb is super soft. It is delicious spread with butter or dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with dinner. You can also tear it apart, split it, and use it for sandwiches. 

To cut the "leaves" of this wreath, you hold scissors at a 60 degree angle and cut into the top of the shaped ring without cutting all of the way through and pull the cut piece to one side. Even though it looks like you should cut from the side, don't. Cut from the top. 

I used clean sewing shears with thin blades to cut the dough. I tried kitchen shears but they didn't open wide enough. the sewing shears worked wonders. 

Olive oil bread shaped

You begin with a long (42 inches) rope that you form into a circle. If you don't have enough counter space to creat such a long rope of dough, you can divide the dough in half, make two 21 inch ropes, and join the ends together when you form it into a circle. 

I baked mine on a cast iron pizza pan, but if you don't have one, you can use a baking sheet. I lined it with oiled parchment paper, which made positioning the dough easier. 

Olive oil wreath bread pieces

To make this bread, you will need to make a biga the night before. 

What is a biga? It is a starter made with flour, water, and a tiny amount of yeast, which is allowed to sit at room temperature to slowly ferment and develop flavor. 

When you mix the final dough, you add more flour, water, and yeast, plus salt and olive oil. 

Olive oil wreath pull apart bread with butter

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making Olive Oil Wreaths, and I am the host kitchen. If you'd like to bake along, send me a photo of your bake to karen.h.kerr @ 

This recipe was adapted from the book Della Fattoria Bread by Kathleen Weber. She owns the bakery that first supplied bread to The French Laundry and the Sonoma Mission Inn in northern California. 

Her sourdoughs are amazing too. 

Olive oil wreath pull apart bread in basket

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babes' versions of this bread.

I'm sure they will be very creative. 

Olive Oil Wreath Bread

Olive Oil Wreath Bread
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This olive oil wreath bread makes a wonderful and flavorful pull-apart bread. Perfect for the center of your table.


For the Biga
  • 125 grams (3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) AP flour
  • 5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) instant yeast
  • 83 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) water, 75 to 80 degrees F
Final Dough
  • 100 grams (1/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons) of the biga
  • 285 grams (1 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons) 75 to 80 degree F water
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon) instant yeast
  • 500 grams (3 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
  • 15 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) salt


To Make the Biga
  1. Mix the biga ingredients in a stand mixer at the lowest speed for one minute or by hand until combined. It will be sticky. Place it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit for 10 to 18 hours.
  2. Leftover biga can be refrigerated for up to 3 days to make more loaves.
Olive Oil Wreath
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the biga, water, olive oil, and yeast and mix on low with the paddle attachment for about 30 seconds, until the biga is broken up.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add it to the stand mixer and and stir with a spoon or dough whisk to just moisten the flour. Then, mix with the paddle attachment on low for 3 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and briefly knead by hand. Place it into an oiled bowl our dough rising bucket and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot to proof for 1 to 2 hours until really puffy, more than doubled.
  4. Turn the dough back out onto a floured work surface and deflate the dough. Gather up the edges and preshape the dough into a ball. Flip the ball and place it seam side down on the work surface. Push the dough against the work surface in a circular motion to tighten the top. Pull the dough toward you to elongate the dough into an oval and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a 1 1/2 inch by 42 inch long piece. To do this, turn the dough over, seam side up and pull the dough into a rectangle shape. Wrap the longer sides over each other like an envelope. Gently rock the dough with your hands to elongate the dough. Let it rest for about 10 minutes if the dough resists.
  6. Prepare a 14 inch cast iron pan, pizza pan, or large cookie sheet with spray oil. You can also use good quality parchment paper and a pizza peel to directly transfer the loaf to the baking stone. Gently place the dough on the pan or parchment and form it into a circle, overlapping the ends. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and set the dough in a warm spot and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it passes the finger dent test.
  7. In the meantime, heat your oven, with a rack on the lowest level with a steam pan, and a rack in the middle above the steam pan and fitted with a baking stone if you have one. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. Using scissors, cut partially through the dough at a 45 degree angle from the top and move the cut dough to one side. Cut almost but not all of the way through. Continue to make more cuts, every 3 inches, and move the cut dough pieces to alternating sides until you go around the wreath. Don't cut from the sides, cut from the top.
  9. I tried kitchen shears first but they didn't open wide enough, so I actually used sewing shears.
  10. Place the pan or parchment (using a peel) with the shaped dough onto the stone and add 1 cup of ice cubes to the steamer pan. Immediately close the oven door and reduce the heat to 400 degrees F.
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and let cool slightly before serving.



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olive oil, èpi
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babes' loaves:

A Messy Kitchen

My Kitchen in Half Cups

Blog from OUR Kitchen

Feeding My Enthusiasms

Judy's Gross Eats

Bread Experience

Would you like to comment?

  1. I loved this bread Karen and I’m so glad you got me to give this book another look.
    That is definitely a perfect picture of the wreath on the bread board!

  2. Such a gorgeous wreath, love the color! I really want to play with the angles on the cuts and get more practice. I'd like to try the shallower and longer angle for some long and pointy ears. Mine were pretty rounded. Still tasty!

    1. I don't have any idea why this is easier for me than slashing, lol! Thanks Kelly!

  3. Such beautiful bread! I can't get over the loft and definition you got. (Ha. I guess I'll have to try making this again, and add the correct amount of water....)

  4. Your wreath is gorgeous! Thanks for the challenge Karen! This was a fun one!

  5. You surely picked a winner with this one - everyone loves it. It's a gorgeous wreath!


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