Cheese, olive & tomato sourdough

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This is much a “use up the left-overs” bread, using up some spiced olives (the ones normally found in the chiller cabinet at the supermarket) and the end of a block of mature Cheddar. I added some chopped sun-dried tomatoes for that wonderfully intense umami flavour you get: sun-dried tomatoes are one of my must-have store cupboard ingredients!

You don’t need exact amounts of the “extras” that fill the bread (olives, tomatoes, cheese…), but as a guideline I go for about 250g of extras for every 1kg dough. This will give two loaves.

The recipe for a standard sourdough dough, along with full details for making a starter, shaping a dough and baking the dough can be found on my main sourdough post here.

As with most of my sourdoughs, I feed the starter the morning I want to make the dough and then early evening I make up the dough: a rough timeline is on my post linked about.

How to work ingredients into a dough easily

While you can incorporate the ingredients with the flour as you make up the initial dough, it is easier to incorporate a large amount of extras, as you have here, once the dough has been made and had its stretches and folds.

  • you essentially split the dough in half and pat each piece out to a large rectangle.
  • you then sprinkle the ingredients on top of each, leaving a centimetre or so border around each edge.
  • you next fold each edge over to create a flap which will stop the ingredients from spilling out when you roll it up.
  • and finally roll it up, not too tightly, and pinch the seal to secure in place. This now gets placed into a banneton and left overnight or so.

To finish and bake

  • place the rolled up dough into well floured bannetons, seal-side up to rise for several hours until about 1 and a half times its original volume. I usually let it prove at room temperature for this second rise but you can chill it again until you are ready to bake it.
  • bake as in the main sourdough recipe linked below ie) at the highest oven temperature for 10 minutes, before turning the oven down to 200-220C for a further 30-40 minutes or so.

For a non-sourdough version, make up a standard bread dough (see my post here) and once it has had its first rise, knock it back, flatten it out and proceed as above.

Recipe: olive, cheese & sun-dried tomato sourdough (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 quantity of sourdough dough, made up with stretches and folds completed: up to and including stage 5 of my recipe here.


  • 100g strong cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 150g green or black olives, plain or spiced, drained and patted dry if in brine
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small, drained and patted dry if in oil

See the notes above for assembling and baking the dough.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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