Homemade Bread Loaf with Olive Oil

Homemade Bread Loaf with Olive Oil

Makes two (8- × 4-inch) loaves or 1 large round loaf

This rustic, artisanal bread, infused with the rich, fruity notes of high-quality olive oil, is the perfect gift to bless your guests with, whether you’re visiting or hosting. Crafted with care and attention to detail, this Homemade Bread Loaf with Olive Oil is a labor of love that embodies the warmth and hospitality you wish to extend. The pillowy soft interior and crisp, golden crust provide a delightful textural contrast, while the olive oil lends a subtle richness that elevates the bread to new heights of flavour.


1 cup 2% milk
5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp quick-rising yeast
1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves 2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp herbaceous extra virgin olive oil


In a small pot, heat the milk with 1 cup water to 115°F.

stand mixer method

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour with the sugar, yeast, rosemary, and salt.

Start the mixer on low speed, and slowly pour in the water/milk mixture and the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough begins to come together and pulls away from the bowl, sprinkle in the remaining flour and continue to mix on low until all the flour is combined and the dough is soft and elastic to the touch.

hand mixing method

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour with the sugar, yeast, rosemary, and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the water/milk mixture and 1/4 cup olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is well combined. It should be pulling away from the bowl but still be sticky. Place 1 cup of the remaining flour on a clean work surface, turn out the dough, and knead until all the flour is absorbed. Dust with the remaining flour and continue to knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, dusting with more flour as you knead.

to make the bread

Shape the dough into a ball, rub all over with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Roll it around a bit to pick up the oil then cover with a clean damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, 10–15 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, cut it in half and shape each half into an oval loaf. Dust the tops with a little flour and cover with a damp towel. Let rise until doubled again, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F with a baking stone or 2 stacked sheet pans set upside down in oven (doubling the sheet pans will help prevent the loaves from burning on the bottom).

Once the dough has doubled again, spritz the loaves with water and score the tops with a sharp knife in a crisscross fashion. Carefully place the loaves on the hot stone/sheet pans, spritz one more time with water, and bake for 20 minutes. Spritz the loaves again with water, turn down the oven to 350°F, and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting—or slather with extra virgin olive oil while it’s warm if you can’t wait.

Recipe from The Olive Oil and Vinegar Lover’s Cookbook: Revised and Updated Edition © 2019, Emily Lycopolus.