Double Olive Walnut Herbes de Provence Sourdough

This is an adaptation of a Tartine recipe with one of Maurizio’s and using generally the methods of FullProofBaking. I attempted to score a leaf on the dough but was hilariously unsuccessful in my attempt. It just looks like random scores on one side.

Levain build 1:2:2

20 g mature starter

20 g bread flour

20 g whole wheat flour

40 g water

311 g white bread flour. 74% including levain

46 g whole wheat flour. 21% including levain

21 g dark rye flour. 5%

287 g warm water 74% hydration

7.5 g salt

77 g levain

2 g diastatic malt powder 0.5%

Total flour without levain 378 g

1 ⅛ cups pitted olives (Kalamata and green)

¾ cups walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped

¾ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence

Zest from 40% of a lemon

In a bowl stir together the olives, nuts, herbes de Provence and lemon zest

  1. Liquid Levain (0:00) — I build mine at around 1:2:2 and let it sit at about 80°F until it more than triples in volume and “peaks”. For my starter, this takes approximately 5-6 hours.

Flour for my starter feeds is composed of a mix of 10% rye, 90% bread flour

  1. Autolyse (+3:00) — This is a pre-soak of the flour and water. If concerned about the hydration hold back some of the water. You can add it back later, if necessary. Leave the autolyse for anywhere from 2-4 hours (I prefer 3 hours) while the levain finishes fermenting.

  2. Add Levain (+6:00) — Spread on top of dough and work in using your hands. This is a good time to evaluate the feel (hydration) of the dough.

  3. Add Salt (+6:30) — Place salt on top of dough and work in with hands. Dough will start to strengthen.

  4. Light Fold (+7:00) — With dough on a slightly wet bench do a Letter Fold from both ways. NOTE: If baking more than one loaf, divide the dough before folding.

  5. Lamination (+7:30) — Place dough on wet counter and spread out into a large rectangle. Add the mixed olives, walnuts, herbes de Provence and lemon zest spreading on top. Do a Letter Fold both ways.

  6. Coil Fold (+8:15) — Do a Coil Fold inside the BF container.

  7. Coil Fold (+9:00) — Do a Coil Fold inside the BF container.

  8. Coil Fold (+9:15) — Do a =Coil Fold inside the BF container.

  9. End of BF - Shaping (~11:30) — The duration of the BF is a judgement call. Shoot for 50-60% rise (assuming my fridge temp is set very low). Warmer fridge (above 39F) means your dough will continue to rise… so in this case, bulk to more like 40%. Divide and shape

  10. Retard Overnight & Bake — Score cold and bake in a pre-heated 500F oven for 20 minutes with steam

  11. Vent Oven 20 minutes into the bake — Vent oven and bake

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Looks amazing ! Would love to see the crumb. I printed it to try it myself soon.

Thanks for the effort to post this !

I will post a crumb shot once I cut it much later today or tomorrow. Hopefully I got the bulk fermentation OK. I’m a bit worried I over packed it with add ins, but we shall see, it sure smells good if you like olives.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out. Usually the first time I bake a new bread it isn’t great and I have to try several times to improve it, but I think this is good, what do you think? What could I improve upon? I’m always looking for ways to improve.



I know you are not kidding, but “improve” ? I can’t even suggest ways to improve the quality of the photographs, let alone the bread !

Great, uniform crust - with an overdone bottom. Even distribution of olives and walnuts, with a crumb that has the perfect mix of medium air pockets and those large open spaces we are wish for when we make the first cut.

Now this is definitely going on my “must bake” list.

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That should have been “WITHOUT and overdone bottom”…sorry.

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I really do hope you bake this, it really is tasty and turned out better than I expected.

@Bentio…well I did it. For the most part, I followed your recipe to the letter, but ad libbed a bit where I was either unsure, or felt that the proofing needed a bit of a twist.

While you didn’t indicate, I chopped the olives…only about enough to roughly turn them into halves, but also reduced the quantity to only 1 cup. I added the malt to the flour before autolyse, not at the levain add step.

This was my very first “specialty” bread and I was more than a bit nervous about choosing a higher hydration recipe as well. This was also my first introduction to letter and coil folding. Frankly, the large olive pieces were a challenge to deal with in the folding, but other than having to pinch a few into the dough during the final shaping, it went well after all.

Years ago I was fortunate enough to buy a “store rerturn” Brod and Taylor proofing box, so I could easily manage the levain at 80, I dropped the temp to 75 for the BF (my usual temp for SD)

I come to find out that my fridge is on the warm side, so while I followed the fold and BF sequence to the letter, I nonetheless made a judgement call and let my boule set in its 9" banneton for 30 minutes after final shaping, and before it went into the fridge for the night. After the retard for 15 hrs, I baked in a Dutch Oven at 500, 20 mins covered, but it took another 27 uncovered to brown up and reach an internal temp of 207.

By in large I’m very pleased, but give it only an 8, as the crumb is a bit gummy and even with the olives, I think I would push the salt amount up a bit next time.

My wife, on the other hand, LOVES it and has demanded it stay on the house menu. The two of us can only eat so much bread (no matter how good) so a neighbor received the other half…MUCH to his delight. He’s happy with the salt level.

Thanks again Benny,



Steve that looks awesome, nice photography by the way :grinning: Your crumb looks nice and open. It seems I missed a few details and you wisely cut the olives in half and added the diastatic malt during autolyse. Glad you both like the flavour. Perhaps it needed a bit longer in the oven after the lid was removed to fully bake and dry out the crumb. Great bake.

After my morning coffee, I have begun to prep another loaf of this EXCELLENT loaf. Once I began the levain and plotted out my 9 hr future for the day (autolyse, mix, fold, coil fold, etc) I began to wonder:

Why fiddle with making the levain at all ?

If I just asked a scandalous question, forgive me. I’m a practical guy. I DO love the mystery of bread making, but…

I maintain my starter at 100%, and commonly have about 150g plus grams ready to be used at any one time. It seems to me that I could chop 3 hrs off the day’s bread prep routine if I just directly added 100 g of starter in to the Autolyse, instead of making up 100 g of levain.

Am I missing something important here?

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I’m in the scandalous camp too. I’m pretty sure that a slightly sleepier starter in the dough is approx same as an autolysed dough with a refreshed starter.

Microbes are multiplying while starches are being converted to sugars and gluten is developing.

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Rebels together…I love it !

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If you want to be really scandalous, join me in occasionally using a dutch oven that has not been preheated. I started baking sourdough this way based upon an iOS App that Michael Ruhlman published about 10 years ago (but that has not been updated and is no longer available or usable). It works surprisingly well. But tell bread bakers you do that occasionally…

There are lots of self-appointed bread baking “experts” who will tell people that something is “wrong.” But there are endless ways to bake a perfect bread and the sleepy starter is one example of that. What is important is repeatability and different people find that is many different ways.

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I believe you – both that it comes out great and that people freak out when you say you don’t preheat lol

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Made life a whole lot easier when I started baking bread and didn’t have a big enough dutch oven. I can’t count how many times I burned my hands trying to gently lower dough into that dutch oven.


I never have enough starter so always have to build a levain. However, lately I haven’t been taking it out of the fridge to feed it a few times prior to using it to build a levain like I used to, the way most people recommend.