Dutch Oven No Knead Rustic Thyme Olive Bread

5 from 23 votes

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A simple homemade bread that is no-knead filled with herbs and kalamata olives.

Dutch Oven No Knead Rustic Thyme Olive Bread recipe is full of flavor! A perfect bread for Italian meals.

Slices of olive bread spread out

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I have always loved olives. When I was a kid, I would walk around with a black olive stuck on each finger and eat them.

Something about the salty, somewhat sour brine of an olive makes me happy.

And when I lived in Italy for college, I fell in love with olive trees, inspiring the name of this blog.

Making a no knead easy olive bread recipe has been on my list! Find more of our bread recipes here!

Top of a full loaf of olive bread

Preparing the Olives

It is important to dry the olives before adding to the dough to remove as much of the brine as you can.

This is mildly painful for me because I LOVE olives and LOVE brines but the extra moisture could negatively impact your bread and cooking time.

No need to be obsessive about making the olives completely dry, just don’t throw them in the dripping with moisture. One quick rub with a towel or drained in a colander should do the trick.

Slices of the bread with olives and thyme around them

I also like to leave half of the kalamata olives whole, and cut the others just in half.

My goal is to get olives alllllll over the place in the bread but still leave them in pretty big chunks.

The olives will be cut more as you cut the bread, so make them as large or small as you like.

You could use any olive variety you like, just make sure there are no pits in them!

A close up of a slice of the bread

Cooking the Bread

When you are cooking the Dutch oven bread, you want to make sure you get a really nice golden brown crust which helps indicate that the bread is cooked through.

Sometimes I can smell the bottom of the bread almost burning before it is done.

To prevent this, put a layer of flour in the pot before you add the dough (the flour scrapes off later, it does not stick, so it is fine if the flour ends up bringing).

Or add an empty baking sheet on a rack under the bread pot. I got this tip from a friend that cooks a lot of bread and the pan will help disperse heat a little and put less heat pressure on the bottom of the pot.

No Knead Breads

Pin image for the No-Knead Dutch Over Rustic Thyme Olive Bread of slices with the title at bottom

No Knead Rustic Thyme Olive Bread

A simple homemade bread that is no-knead filled with herbs and kalamata olives.
5 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bread, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Passive Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 1 large loaf
Calories: 1686kcal



  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The dough will not be overly sticky but should come together. Add just a little water at a time if needed to incorporate all the flour.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or bees wax wrap (something not porous) and put a towel over the top to help it seal. Set the bowl aside for at least 8 hours to rise (I have gone as long as 24 hours).
  • When ready to bake, heat oven to 450F. Place a large cast iron pot (dutch oven) on the medium or medium low rack while preheating for it to get hot.
  • Use a spatula to scoop the dough into the hot pot. (If preferred, shape the dough on the counter during preheating but I find it is easy to drop the dough in a rough circle straight into the pot).
  • Place the lid on the pot and cook at 450F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and let cook an additional 15 minutes to further brown. If it looks or smells done sooner, remove from oven sooner.
  • Let the bread cool completely on a cooling rack.


This makes one large loaf of rustic bread, which is much more dense than a French bread.
If your bread is cooking too fast on the bottom which commonly happens to me, place a baking sheet on a rack lower than the pot to help disperse heat that is coming from the bottom.


Serving: 1loaf | Calories: 1686kcal | Carbohydrates: 298g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 6669mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 21mg
By on May 4th, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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32 thoughts on “Dutch Oven No Knead Rustic Thyme Olive Bread”

  1. 5 stars
    This bread looks absolutely marvellous! We love olives here too and this would be so popular in our house. Thank you for the tips too, what a good idea to put a layer of flour under the bread.

  2. re: hard bottom crust, cooking too fast. check oven temperature calibration. In my case my electric oven was 50F too high. I used my remote oven thermometer to determine the true temperature.

    • Hi Peter,

      Very true! My oven runs a little hot as well and it can make a big difference not only in cooking time but what happens to food. Sounds like you have a great solution!

      • Yes, it should puff up and look like a very soft and wet dough after mixing everything and letting it sit overnight. If it does not, it could mean your yeast is dead or that regular yeast was used instead of instant yeast.

  3. 5 stars
    This bread is delicious! I love kalamata olives, but am even happier about the whole tasty combo of the thyme and peppery bite that hits along the way. Crunchy and tender – I think this will become a favorite. Thanks for the tip for dispersing heat. It worked like a charm!

    • Hi Sal,

      Yes, I would think that would work, just make sure you have a lid of sorts for the first part of cooking! Anything heavy that seals on top (not sitting too loosely) should work. Also, depending on your cast iron skillet size, you might need to divide the dough into batches based on how full it is since the dough will rise some.

  4. 5 stars
    This bread turned out great! It’s delicious. I used an enameled Dutch oven and the bread stuck pretty badly to the bottom. Next time, I’d grease it. But I got the bread out unharmed by putting the lid back on and letting it steam to soften the crust. Great recipe! Will definitely make again.

  5. 5 stars
    this is absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! so delicious and chewy. I didn’t put much salt in it because I knew the olives would add the salt.

    • Hi Rad,
      Glad you liked it! It is a rustic bread so definitely denser than a French bread and will hold its shape much more than an airy bread when you squeeze it. I would say it is similar to the bread baskets you get in restaurants, like Outback’s rye bread or a ciabatta bread.

  6. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks amazing and I’d like to try it. After the 8 or 24th s, can I cut the dough and put them in a muffin pan to make rolls instead. Would the cooking time be lessened and the temperature different?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Daphnee,
      I have not tried that, but it is a great idea! Yes, I think a muffin tin would work. I would definitely think the cooking time would be reduced. I would start with cooking 15 minutes and taking a peak at that point. If they are getting too dark too fast, cover them with foil (can be loose). If you tap the bottom of the bread, it should sound a little hollow.
      You can take each portion of dough and fold the edges under the ball so the top is smooth to give you a smoother, prettier mini loaf 🙂

  7. Tried the recipe. Let it rise for about 10 hours and it doubled in size then when I cooked it it went flat and came out looking shiny and black tinged. Any idea what I did wrong? I thought my dough looked as you described but I don’t usually work with wet dough.

    • Hi Eryn,
      I am so sorry that happened! I have not experienced it myself so not quite sure what happened.
      Was all of the dough a black tinge? It is possible that is from the olive juice that was attached or in the olives? Maybe pat the olives dry first and/or add another 1/4 cup of flour.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this recipe, turned out awesome. Was so easy to make, and the house smelled so good when baking. Will definitely make this again.

  9. 5 stars
    So yummy! Made after dinner and let it rise all night and then threw it in, in the morning. Probably will cut olives in half next time. Might try using this as a base dough and then changing to be garlic loaf instead of olive. Bf said “ I’d be happy if I got this at a restaurant”


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