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Olive and Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough bread is even more delicious when it's loaded with briny olives, crunchy walnuts and sweet roasted garlic! This olive and walnut sourdough bread can be served alongside soups or enjoyed as a hearty snack all on it's own!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Fermenting Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Amy Duska


Ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g)  of Active Sourdough Starter

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) sourdough starter
  • cup + 1 tablespoon (50 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) water

Sourdough Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100 g) active sourdough starter
  • 1 ½ cups (360 g) water (30 grams divided)
  • cup + 1 tablespoon (50 g) whole wheat flour
  • 3 ¾ cups (450 g) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) fine sea salt

Add-in Ingredients

  • 1 cup (135 g) sliced olives
  • 1 cup (120 g) walnuts (rough chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) dried basil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for roasted garlic)


Feed Your Sourdough Starter

  • 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough, add the ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g) of active sourdough starter to a clean jar. Stir until combined, loosely cover the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature. (The ingredients will create a total of 115 g active starter but, because some of it will stick to the sides of the jar during the transfer, we are making a little more than needed.) The sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and there are plenty of bubbles on the surface and sides of the jar.

Prepare Add-ins

  • Roast garlic: Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Cut the top of the head of garlic off, drizzle with olive oil and loosely wrap in foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool.
  • Add the sliced olives, walnuts, roasted garlic and dried basil to a bowl and set aside.

Make the Dough

  • Autolyse: In a mixing bowl, combine 330 grams of water and 100 grams active sourdough starter, stir to combine. Add 50 grams whole wheat flour and 450 grams bread flour and use your hands to combine the ingredients until there are no dry bits and the dough looks like a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Add salt: Add 10 grams of salt to the remaining 30 grams of water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the salt water to the dough and use your hands to work it in until well combined. Cover the bowl and let rest on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Bulk fermentation - Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds, 30 minutes apart, over the first hour and a half. Add the olives, walnuts, roasted garlic and dried basil to the dough during the second set of stretch and folds. Keep the bowl covered between sets.
    *To perform a set, while the dough is still in the bowl, pick up one side with a wet hand. Pull it up and over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this action on 4 sides of the dough until the bowl has come full circle.
    Once finished with the third set of stretch and folds, cover the dough and allow to rise at room temperature for an additional 2-3 hours.
  • Shape and Second Rise - Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a rough ball. (It will not be smooth). Flour the top of the dough and place into a floured proving basket, top-side down. Allow to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until it has risen about 20%-30%.
  • Score and Bake: Preheat the oven, with the dutch oven inside, to 500°F (260°C) for 30 minutes.
    Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and score the top with a razor. Remove the dutch oven and place on stove-top. Use the parchment paper as a sling and lift the dough up and into the dutch oven.
    Cover, turn oven down to 450°F (232°C) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until the crust is at the desired color.
  • Let the bread cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours before cutting.


  • Use the scoop and level technique to measure your flour if you do not have a kitchen scale. To do this, use a spoon to fluff up the flour in the bag. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup until it is heaped on top. Take a butterknife and level off the top. This should give you the most accurate measurement for flour.
  • Use large silicone gloves when bread baking to protect hands and forearms from burns.
  • During the first rise (bulk fermentation), if your kitchen temperature is warmer than 68°F (20°C), check the dough 2 hours after the last stretch and fold to make sure that it does not over proof. The dough is ready for shaping when it has risen about 30% and has bubbles around the edges of the bowl.
  • Let the loaf cool completely before slicing to prevent the crumb from becoming gummy in texture.
  • Tips for baking in warm and/or high humidity areas - When baking in high humidity and/or warmer areas, it's often a good practice to use less water and bake a little longer than the recipe calls for. Reduce the water by 50 grams in the initial mix and then slowly add the remaining water until you achieve the correct hydration level. Bake the bread about 5-10 minutes longer with the lid on, remove the lid and bake until done. This will take some trial and error!
  • Store your bread at room temperature, wrapped in a kitchen towel or beeswax wrap. You can also store the bread, slice down, on a cutting board with a cake stand top covering the bread. It is not recommended to store sourdough bread in the fridge as it will become hard.
  • Freeze full loaves or individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and inserted into a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg