Nora Roberts is my go-to guilty pleasure author. Her books are formulaic. Character development always follows the same arc. Every trilogy is pretty much the same just with different character names and a different overarching plot. All that said, I eat her books up. I’m a fast reader so I can count on a pleasantly cozy afternoon anytime I pick one up.
Food figures prominently in Roberts’ books, but in a very every day way. Food is mentioned as characters meet, chat, and bond with each other. Groups of friends become family over a bowl of stew or a drink. I discussed this a bit more in this post.
One of my favorite sets of hers is the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy (affiliate link – thanks for your support!) This is one of her Irish and supernatural series. In it, our group of fearless demon fighters spend many an evening over a meal prepared by a member of their circle. Several items stood out, but I knew I needed to try some olive bread. I am a sucker for homemade bread. There is nothing better on this good Earth, but I don’t always have time to make it myself. Suffice it to say, the day I discovered no-knead artisan bread was a banner day in this household!
I chose black olives for this loaf, knowing I was pairing the bread with a soup full of strong flavors. It would also be spectacular with green, Kalamata, or some marinated olives off an antipasto bar.
This bread is so easy to make. You can have delicious homemade bread all the time with virtually no “active” prep time. Give it a try. With or without olives, you will fall in love with this crusty masterpiece!
Easy Olive Bread
Use whatever olives you prefer. You can also change this bread up in countless ways. Add cheese or cinnamon or dried fruit. The options are endless.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 small can chopped black olives, excess moisture squeezed out
In a large bowl, sift together flour, yeast, and salt.
Stir in olives.
Slowly stir in water until you have a moist, sticky dough.
Cover and let rise 12-18 hours.
Put cast iron pot and lid in oven. Preheat to 450°.
While oven/pot heats, turn dough onto floured surface and shape into a round.
Using a serrated knife, make three slashes in top of dough.
Once pot is heated, carefully transfer round to pot.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
Uncover, bake for another 10-15 minutes, until top is brown and crusty.
Allow to cool before slicing.