Cacao And Olive Bread

As someone who has always baked their own bread, it seemed only natural for Mr Harcourt-Cooze to mix cacao into a loaf. Here, the cacaoís nuttiness is a perfect foil for the meatiness of the olives. Try toasting this bread too, as it brings out the roasted flavours of the cacao even more.

Serving Size

Makes one large loaf or 10 rolls

Cook Time

45 minutes (loaf) or 15 minutes (rolls)


300g plain white flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon easy-blend yeast
150ml full-fat milk
150ml water
75g Venezuelan Carenero Superior
100 per cent cacao, chopped or grated
75ml extra virgin olive oil
200g green olives, pitted and chopped
1 beaten egg yolk, or one tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fennel seeds


Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast. Warm the milk and water in a saucepan. Add the cacao and stir until it has melted. Pour in the olive oil and mix well.

Tip this warm liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to form a soft but not sticky dough. Add more flour or warm water if necessary to achieve the right consistency. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You can also make the dough in a food processor or an electric mixer with a doughhook attachment. Simply place the flour, salt and yeast in the mixer or processor bowl, then add the warm liquid mixture and process for about five minutes.

Sprinkle the chopped olives over the dough and knead a little more to mix in. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel, or place another large bowl upturned on top.

Leave in a warm place for at least two hours to allow the dough to rise, doubling in size.

Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface and knock it back to its original size. Press into a large, oiled bread tin or divide into ten pieces and shape each into a small roll. Place the rolls on an oiled baking tray. Lightly brush the top of the loaf or the rolls with either a little egg yolk or milk, then sprinkle over the fennel seeds. Leave in a warm place for about one hour, or until well risen (almost doubled in size)

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C. When the loaf or rolls have risen sufficiently, place in the hot oven and bake for 45 minutes for the loaf, or 15 minutes for the rolls. To test if bread is done, tap it sharply on the underside. It should sound hollow.

If not, return to the oven for a further three-to-five minutes and test again. When fully cooked, turn the loaf out of the tin, or remove the rolls from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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