Braided Olive and Harissa Bread
A very special bread recipe which is a bit of a showstopper. Braided bread with layers of harissa and chilli oil and juicy little olives nestling inside.
The bread looks complicated but don’t be scared – it’s actually pretty simple to make.
The trickiest part is the folding, as it can be a little messy, but just get in there and fold one piece over the other.
Again, don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just wrap into a snail shape and you will get a striking loaf.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Love, Niki xxx.
Braided Olive and Harissa Bread
- 120 ml warm water
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 7 g fast action dry yeast
- 450 g plain flour
- 150 ml plant based milk
- 3 tbsp melted vegan butter
For the fillings
- 2 tbsp chilli olive oil mixed with 2 tbsp rose harissa
- 4 tbsp olives pitted and chopped a little
- In a jug, combine the warm water, sugar and active dry yeast.
- Set aside until foamy.
- Now, in a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture, milk and melted butter to the flour.
- Mix until it forms into a dough and transfers to a floured surface and knead until springy.
- Form into a ball and place back in the bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm space for about one hour or until it doubles in size.
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan, and line bottom with baking paper; grease the paper, then set aside.
- Transfer the dough back to a floured surface and knead again for a few minutes
- Roll the dough into a very thin rectangle.
- Spread a thin layer of chilli oil and harissa mix on top of the dough, but leave a little space around the edges.
- Scatter the olives over the top.
- Starting at the long edge, roll slowly and tightly into a log. Press it closed.
- Now carefully (it’s messy!), cut the dough in half along the length (so you get two long strips).
- To form the loaf - Cross the two halves with the layers facing up.
- Continue to lay the left piece over the right until the dough is tightly twisted.
- Pinch both ends together.
- Now roll the braid into a tight circle (like a snail) and press the ends together
- Carefully transfer to the baking tin and cover and allow it to double in size.
- Once risen, pop in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool a little before eating.
I’ve just finished making this and it is genuinely brilliant. I’ve never made bread before and am so pleased how it’s come out. If I can do it, anyone can. It’s really not hard and very, very worth it. I’m so pleased with it.
I’ve just got a few notes on the recipe above which might help others.
Step 3: It says add salt, but doesn’t say how much. I went with 2 tbsp and that seems to have worked well.
Step 7: This is far to early to start heating the oven. I started pre heating the oven about 5 minutes before the second proof was done in step 19 which seemed to be good timing.
Step 14: Be very careful not to score your work surface! I managed not to by cutting the dough on a chopping board.
Step 15: I struggled with this on my own. I needed my wife to help me. Others may manage by themselves, but if you’re as new to bread as I am, make sure you have someone ready to help you cross the halves over each other.
Step 19: Not so much a comment on the recipe, but this took 35-40 minutes which surprised me. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time to double in the tin, that seems normal.
I’m so happy with how this has come out. Definitely not the last time I’ll be baking a loaf. Thank you Niki for a wonderful recipe!
So happy it turned out well Andrew and great notes!
Love, Niki x
Oh wow this looks amazing – perfect for harvest festival or enjoying breaking bread with family and friends. I hope mine looks this good!
So happy you like!
Love, Niki xxx