You can vary the flavour of this bread with your choice of olive - Kalamata, Amfisa, Arbequina, Niscoise ... ... ....
TAKE NOTICE BEFORE FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS VERBATIM: 15 minutes on the bottom rack at 500 degrees blackened (ie. *burned*) the top of this bread. After all the work and time I invested in preparing this loaf, I was very disappointed to have it ruined by the author's cooking instructions. Reading some of the other comments, I would have to agree that 450 degrees instead of 500 is the way to go. The original author must be in a high-altitude environment or something. The inside of the bread was extremely delicious and I will be baking this one again soon (at 450/375). Thank you for the recipe, I'm sure you didn't mean to burn my bread. - 20 Jun 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
this is off the chart! Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe! Proofed the yeast first w/1tbsp sugar then added all but the salt. added that w/2nd cup of flour so as not to kill the yeast. I did have to use more flour but used A-P. It rose beautifully each time. Added 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. italian seasoning. Used both black and Tunisian green olives from the family orchard. Makes for a beautiful presentation. Left the olives in larger pieces. Very rustic looking. Baked at 475 for the first 15 min. then down to 400 for the remainder. The steamed oven made for a beautiful crispy crust but the bread itself was so soft and tender. The addition of spices and garlic only added to the loaf but did not detract from the olives. Use good olives from a specialty store or olive bar at the local supermarket. I'm afraid canned olives would not fair too well in this recipe other than lending eye-appeal. Don't be afraid to try this recipe. Just prepare the rest of your meal in between risings. The most tedious part was getting all the olive away from the pits! Thanks again. - 29 Jun 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I have made this for several parties. Each time I do a little something different. My favorite variation of this recipe is substituting whole wheat for 1/2 of the white flour and adding rosemary, basil, oregano, and garlic to the dough. I doubled the olives too! Great recipe. - 21 Jan 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)