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Whole Wheat Olive Bread

Submitted by on January 17, 2011 – 9:03 pm2 Comments

Whole Wheat Olive Bread

For one of the holidays in the last 12 months (I don’t remember which, it may have been Valentine’s Day last year…hmmm..) my husband bought me (at my request) a Zojirushi Bread Maker. I was thinking that I wanted to try making bread, but was intimidated by the kneading and all of the variables involved where it could just go all so wrong.  I must say that this contraption is one of my favorite tools, second only in use to my Kitchenaid Mixer, which I also love dearly. I probably make bread with the Zojirushi at least once a week, sometime twice. I make sandwich bread, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls, as well as sweeter bread “loaves” like pumpkin bread, cranberry bread and zuchinni bread. One of my favorite things that I have taken on and learned with this machine is to try new flours — kamut, garbanzo (chickpea), teff, graham, oat, barley, rye….it’s been a lot of fun for me.

Zojirushi Bread Maker

This is the one that I have (above). It makes a 2 pound loaf. This model is discontinued now, but the replacement one is almost exactly the same (roughly the same price too).  My husband got mine at a local Sur la Table, but they have them available at I noticed, and there the shipping is free and it looks like you can get a good percentage off the retail price.  These babies are super duper awesome, but not super duper cheap just FYI.

Anyway, last night I was invited to an all women potluck for “foodies”, which was cleverly nicknamed “The Hungry Woman” night out…or something to that effect. One of the things I decided to share was my Whole Wheat Flour Olive Bread that I’ve come up with for my bread maker.  This is a recipe that I initially got from online at, but have adapted enough that I feel I have made it my own.  It’s easy, doesn’t require too many ingredients, makes the house smell great, and is just plain delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1/2 cup Brine from Olives
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp Warm Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3-1/3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1-1/3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast (not fast rising)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 Cup Pitted, Chopped Olives — if you add 2/3 cup, you will likely need to add maybe 2 Tbsp more flour to keep the dough at the right moisture…read in the recipe about this.


Remove Pan from Bread Maker. Put 1/2 Cup Brine into pan.

1/2 Cup Olive Brine

Add Warm Water to Pan. (with this bread maker, all liquid ingredients go first, then dry ingredients, then yeast — and you do NOT hand mix anything, just put the stuff in and shut the lid, turn it on and walk away, it’s so nice!)

Add Warm Water

Now add the oil.

Adding Olive OilOK, now add the dry ingredients right on top of this without disturbing the liquid too much. You want the dry ingredients to just sit on top of the wet ones.

Add Bread Flour.  To measure the Bread Flour you can simply scoop it with a spoon and then “cut off” the top with a bread knife. Do not pack down the flour, just spoon it in, kind of move it around so there are no air pockets, then cut off the top.

Measuring FlourPour that stuff right into the pan.

Adding Bread Flour to PanNow measure your Whole Wheat Flour and put into the pan the same way. I like to use King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour over the generic brands. I have found it to just work better for bread for some reason.  I also have started to store all of my flours in big, glass containers that I purchased at the Container Store (they are really inexpensive). I label them and they look really nice in my pantry, and I feel pretty confident I won’t be getting those darn pantry mites that I got once a long time ago that just annoyed the **bleep** out of me.

Whole Wheat FlourSo, measure and add the Whole Wheat Flour the same way as the Bread Flour.

Next, we have the Kosher Salt, Sugar and Oregano. Measure those and add to the pan. For the Salt and Sugar, I try to add those around the outside, as I don’t want them directly interfering with what I am going to be doing with the Yeast in a bit (you’ll see).

All ingredients in pan

So, there’s everything in the pan. Now…take the back of a spoon and kind of swirl a hole in the middle of the flour. Don’t go so deep that you hit liquid, but you want to make a little “dry well” for your yeast.

Making a hole for the yeastNow take 1 packet (equals 2 tsp) of dry yeast and pour it into the little hole. Do not use the fast rising yeast. Been there, done that…doesn’t work so well with Wheat Flour. I think the Wheat must take longer to absorb liquid or something. Go with the regular yeast that takes a few more hours, it’ll be well worth it.

Adding YeastOK. So now you’re ready to put the pan back into the bread maker, lock it down, close the lid and adjust the settings. You want to choose BASIC and WHEAT for your settings.  You can see here that it indicates this will take a total of 3 hours and 40 minutes to make you a nice, steamy, delicious loaf of homemade Whole Wheat Olive Bread. You can’t really see the setting arrows in this picture because of the shadow, but there are triangles pointing to the words BASIC and WHEAT below, just trust me.

Adjusting Settings.So, the machine will go through some phases, first warming the mixture, then mixing it, then kneading it, then letting it rest, then beating it up some more. Eventually, after about an hour it will start beeping and tell you that it’s time to add the olives. So — at this point (right after you get the bread started), it’s time to start working on those olives so you have them ready.

Get your olives out and measure them. I made the sad mistake of not getting pitted olives this time, so I had a bit more work on my hands. I also went with an olive “medley” which made things a bit more interesting.

Measure OlivesHere I went with 2/3 Cup olives.

Pitted, Diced OlivesSet those aside. Now, about an hour into this the machine will start it’s little beeping episode. It only beeps for maybe 10-15 times, so don’t miss it. This is the machine telling you that’s it’s time to add your special extra stuff that you are adding to the bread. Open up the bread maker and add the olives.

Add Olives to Bread MakerYou can see in the photo it indicates there is still 2 hours and 47 minutes left in the whole bread making process.

Let the machine beat that around awile (maybe 5 minutes) then open it up and look to see how the dough looks. It should be in a ball, and not so moist that it is spreading all over the pan. If it seems too moist then add 1 Tbsp of flour. Watch what happens. Does it pull together as it beats the dough around? If not, add 1 more Tbsp of flour. That should do it, you should not need more than that. If you were aggressive with the olives this can happen (like if you add 2/3 Cup instead of 1/2 Cup…) the moisture in the olives can require a little more flour. It’s not too hard, just watch it and see it it looks right. Also, at this time you can scrape down any dough that has lost itself up at the top of the pan.

Here’s what the dough should look like (consistency). Note also that I watched the dough cycle be done (prior to the last rise) and used a spreader to make it spread out evenly across the pan. When I haven’t done that I have at times ended up with some lopsided loaves. They still tasted good, just a bit lopsided without this extra step.

This is the bread right before the final rise.

Spread out and Pre Final Rise.Then after the final rise and right before the machine starts “baking” the dough.

After Final RiseThen the machine just bakes that loaf all by its little old self and then beeps for you when the bread is done. Take the pan out, let it cool about 5-10 minutes, then turn the pan over and shake the bread out of the pan and let it cool on a rack.

Whole Wheat Olive BreadSuper Yummy, Super Easy, Super Fun.

I love my breadmaker.


  • Margie says:

    And yes, it was very good!!

  • Shanti says:

    Hello! Tried your recipe (used all whole wheat flour 3 1/3 C) and it was so delicious! Ended up making the dough in the bread machine, kneading in the olives by hand, letting it rise again and then baked. Am making it again right now!

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