Olive & Cheese Loaf

This crusty French loaf tastes amazing and is a great way to elevate any meal! Serve this delicious, flavorful loaf with a green salad, soup, or spaghetti, or slice it thin as an appetizer for guests. You can even try making it with different cheeses!


3 c. bread flour, plus more for work surface

1 tsp. fine sea salt

¾ tsp. instant or active-dry yeast

1¾ c. Gruyere cheese cubes (½-inch)

1½ c. pitted 1/4-inch-thick slices green Spanish olives

1½ c. cool water, plus more as needed


  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast; stir in cheese and olives. Add water. Using a wooden spoon, mix until a wet, sticky dough forms (about 30 seconds), adding additional water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and surface becomes dotted with bubbles (about 12 to 18 hours).
  • Scrape dough onto a floured work surface. Lightly flour hands and a bowl scraper or spatula and lift edges of dough toward center. Tuck edges of dough to make round.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and dust with flour. Place dough on parchment seam-side down. If dough is sticky, lightly dust top with flour. Cover loosely with wax paper and two clean kitchen towels. Let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size (about 1 to 2 hours).
  • Ten minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat a conventional oven to 475°F (if using a convection oven, preheat to 450°F). Place rack in the lower third of the oven. Place a covered, 3½ -quart cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (with plastic handle removed and screw hole plugged with aluminum foil) in center of rack.
  • Using potholders, carefully remove preheated Dutch oven from oven and uncover. Uncover bread and loosen bottom with a large spatula. Using the parchment paper, invert bread into preheated Dutch oven so it is seam-side up. Cover and transfer to oven
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until bread is dark brown but not burnt (15 to 30 minutes more). Using a heatproof spatula or potholders, lift bread from Dutch oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.