Ready In:

2 1/2 hrs

Good For:

Breakfast, lunch, dinner


  • 650g strong flour
  • 300g sour starter
  • 260ml warm water
  • 9g dry yeast
  • 14g salt
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed-crushed
  • 3/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 30ml olive oil (to finish)
  • olives/rosemary/sea salt to finish

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Dissolve yeast in a little of the water.

In a large bowl add flour, salt, fennel seeds and sugar. Mix together.

Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture, sour starter and olive oil.

Step 2

Stir the mixture from the middle and gently incorporate the four from the sides of the bowl.

Empty the mixture onto a clean bench when it’s too firm to mix with a spoon. Using a little four knead the bread for 10mins. 

If you have a good quality mixer with dough hook, then you can make this recipe by adding everything to the mixer at once.


Step 3

Place the kneaded dough into a clean, oiled bowl (double the size of the dough), cover with oiled glad wrap and leave to ferment in a warm place until twice it’s size (approx 45mins)

Step 4

As soon as the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl into an oiled and lined tray (30 x 60cm).

Using oiled hands lightly stretch the dough to the edges. The dough doesn’t need to touch all edges as it’ll grow to the sides during the next fermentation. 

Step 5

Using your fingers, press into the dough all over.

Arrange olives and rosemary over the dough.

Cover with oiled glad wrap and leave to ferment for 20mins.

Set an oven to 210°C.


Step 6

Remove the glad wrap, sprinkle finishing olive oil over the dough, sprinkle sea salt over and bake in the oven for 15-18mins.

I place a small tray of water on the lower shelf when baking bread products. It creates steam which is very important to achieving a crispy crust. Why not try it?

Step 7

The bread is cooked when golden brown.

Remove from oven and quickly onto a cooling rack. Make sure to remove the bread from tray onto the rack otherwise it’ll steam and soften the base. 

Step 8

This bread can be frozen or kept in an airtight container for up to two days.

If you make this recipe why not take a photo and share to #familykitchenwithmark

Happy cooking. 

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