Olive and zaatar bread

December 6, 2020  •  Category: ,

This bread is a treat and combines the taste of olives, zaatar and olive oil in the moist stuffing. The bread is prepared the day before and left to rise slowly overnight in the fridge to ensure a fluffy and soft texture after baking. It is at best served warm with dollops of labneh.

Olive and zaatar bread

Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern December 6, 2020 Savory Pastries, Pastries/Breads, brunch, homemade bread, bread, zaatar, olive oil, breakfast, olives,

6-8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Passive Time: one day


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup warm water (can use milk if desired), more if needed

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

olive oil, as needed (about 1/3 cup or more)


1/2 cup zaatar (more or less, to taste)

8 ounces of olive paste (see note)

1 Tbsp harissa or red pepper paste (optional) or chili paste

1/3 cup olive oil, more if needed


A. Prepare the stuffing first:

Mix the olive paste, zaatar, harissa or red pepper paste if using, and olive oil to obtain a moist and spreadable paste. Set it aside covered until the dough has had its first rising.

B. Prepare the pans, by greasing a 9" round cake pan and greasing a bowl which will be used for the dough first rising. Then make the dough.

  1. Proof the yeast first, by pouring 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl, and mixing the yeast and sugar in. Let it bubble-up in a warm, draft-free place, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the salt into the flour in a large bowl or in the mixer, and add the oil slowly, mixing it in and then the yeast mixture and finally the warm water and mix until the dough takes shape; add more or less water as needed to get a moist, firm and supple dough.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn it around to coat it with a thin film of grease, cover and let it rise for one hour or longer.
  4. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 8" by 12". Spread with the olive and zaatar mixture leaving 1/2" around the border. Roll the dough into a cigar-shaped log then coil it into a crown and place it in the prepared pan.
  5. Cover with a plastic or towel and place in the fridge to rise slowly until the next day. The next day, preheat the oven to 375F and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.
  6. Cool a bit and serve with labneh if desired.

Recipe Notes

To make the olive paste:

2 cups olives

De-seed the olives and purée in a food processor, until the paste is formed.

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3 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Pey-Lih says:

    This bread looks amazing! I love the marble look, and I am sure it must be delicious. I will definitely give this a try – thank you for the recipe!

  2. Chagra says:

    I did this bread the last month, but the stuffing tastes salty for me. But with some Baba ganush totally works. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Shirley says:

    Can I exchange white flour with wheat flour?

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