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Moroccan Olive Bread
© Akiko Ida & Pierre Javelle

Moroccan Olive Bread

  • ACTIVE: 15 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS
  • SERVINGS: makes 1 medium loaf
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Berber women sell loaves of dense and crusty bread in market stalls throughout Morocco. In this recipe, thickly slicing the olives before placing them on the unbaked bread allows the briny oil from the cut sides to seep into the dough.

  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  2. 1 cup tepid water
  3. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  6. 6 pitted green or black olives, sliced crosswise
  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Sift the 2 1/2 cups of flour into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt and anise. With a wooden spoon, stir in the yeast and the remaining 3/4 cup of water until a raggy dough forms.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a 7-inch disk. Press the olives into the top of the loaf. Set the bread on a lightly floured baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer the bread to a rack and let cool slightly before serving.
Make Ahead The bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the loaf before reheating it in a 350° oven.