Back of the Card Cheese and Olive Bread

French Friday’s with Dorie –

Cheese and Olive Bread

This cheese and olive bread inspires my haiku today:

Indifferent Breads
My recipe Deja vu
We’ve been there, done that
The French can have them
I find them way too filling
But the French don’t get fat
Eat the bread and wine
Do you know what you have done?
Spoiled your dinner.
Quite delicious though
Do learn a basic version
and then go to town.
Cheese and Olive Bread

Its not that I don’t like savory quick bread loaves. I do. And knowing they are chic and French elevates them in my mind. Truth is I may just like them too much. I generally try to avoid appetizers that threaten to steal the attention from the main course — eating a loaf of bread before dinner tends to do just that, doesn’t it?

Yeah, give me a glass or two of wine and a few slices of bread and why even bother with dinner? Tonight I had big plans to stage French Friday’s with Dorie assignment with another of Dorie’s favorite, asparagus and poached eggs, but guess who lost all motivation after eating just one slice?

Figures. I should know better.

“Back of the Card” Cheese and Olive Bread

Even still I suppose it is a good thing to have a ‘base recipe’ for quick breads at hand in case you ever want to make one. It might as well be this. The texture and consistency here is as good as you can hope for and you can substitute just about anything (but keep proportions) to turn any languishing food scraps in your fridge into a savory loaf any Parisian would nosh on with a glass of wine or Calvados.

Here I stuck close to the recipe as printed and I wouldn’t change a thing — except to say that the lemon zest is NOT optional and I was very happy to have added a heavy pinch of black pepper which the original recipe did not include for some reason. Any future graze through my refrigerator will surely turn out something tasty the next time I get the urge to spoil my dinner with this appetizer. I’ll try pesto and peas next but I’m also eyeing the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan rinds, pine nuts, tuna, white beans, and the lone carrot pushed to the back shelf.

Why not?


"Back of the Card" Cheese and Olive Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Serving Size: 1 slice

Original recipe can be found here.

This is what you will need:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons store bought tapenade - I used Trader Joes
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere and cheddar
  • 2/3 cup oil-cured pitted black olives, halved or coarsely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

This is how you make it:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil or butter a 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, one that holds 6 cups (nonstick is nice here).
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. In another bowl or a measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs and whisk in the milk, olive oil and tapenade. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and stir gently to blend. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the cheese, olives and grated zest, if you’re using it. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  3. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Continue to bake the loaf for another 35 minutes or so, until it’s puffed, beautifully golden and a slender knife inserted deep into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, let it rest about 5 minutes, then turn it out. Allow the loaf to remain on the rack, right side up, until it comes to room temperature.

[Note: The wine used in this photo shoot comes from Stein Family Wines out in Napa, California.  What makes them a great winery (in addition to their great wine of course) is their social-conscious leadership. Stein Family allocates 5% of every sale toward funding education scholarships and other support measures for the children of their vineyard workers.  How great is that?  Doing that even better they donate $1 of each bottle of their “Same Sex Meritage” (a blended Bordeaux-style red) to the Freedom To Marry coalition. Why do they do this? Because Matt Gold and Josh Stein believe that all US citizens should be free to marry the person they love and enjoy an awesome red table wine. Naturally I had to buy a few bottles!  (And no, this is not a sponsored post!   Head on over to their website to purchase a few of your own.  They will make great host gifts should you be lucky enough to be invited to a dinner gathering at a gay couple’s house! Thanks for doing this guys!  The wine is awesome!)

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. YES. I’m always looking for a savory bread recipe without yeast!

  2. I avoided this problem by making the bread my dinner.

  3. Beautiful looking bread!
    I threw mine out after a couple of slices because I knew I would keep picking (even though I wasn’t really that fussed on it!). At least you enjoyed the taste!

  4. Yeah, this could EASILY be a whole meal for me too with a nice salad… I was a huge fan of this one!

  5. I changed it a lot, having made the savory cheese and chive bread a lot in the last weeks. The latter is my favorite though, better texture. And it was my lunch more than once on it´s own…
    Here, the bread basket before dinner in restaurants, is meant to make you eat like a pig. No wonder we complain after eating out. Too much food!

  6. Yup, I love spoiling my dinner with dishes like this. My olive version, though, was too salty to be edible :/

  7. this sounds great – i think i’d eat the entire loaf!

  8. Trevor’s bread, his way
    Meant it for an easy snack
    Ruined his dinner

    Savory bread, hey?
    I’d want dinner anyway.
    No, is hard to say.

    This week tested my haiku prowess, I may have to start switching to limericks…

  9. Well, Trevor, I think this looks like a fine dinner! Vegetables, cheese, grains, even a touch of citrus…and wine.

    I agree about the pepper, though

  10. We ate it as part of the meal. I agree as an appetizer it would be too much, but good to have before a night of drinking.

  11. LOL – I actually did leave out the lemon zest because I didn’t want to waste a lemon on it. I still loved it. I avoided the appetiser conundrum by taking this for morning tea at work.

  12. My appetizer-of-choice and a glass of wine often become my meal. As Susan points out, you’re still hitting most of the food groups with your fine-looking loaf. Bread is my downfall (well, one of many downfalls). If it’s good bread, no matter what kind, with butter (real), I can go through one-third of a loaf in one sitting. Not proud of that. Just truthful. You’re also right – this is a good basic recipe to use with a variety of interesting ingredients.

  13. Trevor, your photography always amazes me, it makes me happy, actually – I love spending time on blogs that not only are fun to read but that have beautiful photography, like yours! Love the way the olives shine in your wonderful quick bread and the slate grey serving platter and cup (I think that´s what they are) look so very elegant! Great post!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  14. Yap! I agree the perfect bread for a… wine party!!!

  15. What a delicious way
    To spoil the main event.
    Eat up the whole loaf.

    What are you thinking?
    Adding tuna the next time?
    Trevor, that’s plain weird.

  16. I have to agree that after a piece of bread and a couple of glasses of wine I say dinner is over! Lovely pictures.

  17. LOL, well the best appetizers become dinner. Easily. I have a handful of apps at restaurants that go this way for me 🙂

  18. We two disagree
    The appetizer intrigues
    Mains can be boring.


    That’s the worst haiku I ever wrote… somebody get me some bread.

  19. Your bread looks great! Mine was a tad salty and oily, but still a good, solid bread.

    But I still don’t understand the problem with eating a loaf of bread for dinner….

  20. Trevor, I think your blog has the best comments- always a pleasure to read! Your photos are fantastic, as always ;-). I’m guessing that the French nibble on their flavored bread appetizers (?). I don’t know how they stay so thin 😉

  21. Ugh. Olives and cheese in bread form. It’s like you found a way to bake heaven in to a loaf pan.

  22. Forget dinner. Bring me a loaf of bread, a swig of wine and thou. It went something like that, didn’t it? Add a hunk of cheese and I’ll have that for dinner, please.

  23. One bite of this loaf and I’d want more
    For you see, I’m a carbohydrate whore
    A slice on my lips
    Means pounds on my hips
    And I can’t wear my clothes anymore

  24. You want to talk about romantic? Your’s is beautiful! And I want that wine and those plates!

    • Thank you Julie! I’m glad you noticed the bottle! I put in a note as I had been getting a few offline inquires about the wine used in that shoot. As for the plates, well…that is my secret. (Vintage enamelware…)

  25. I always ruin my appetite with appetizers!! I just can’t help but graze the various cheese boards and small bites available. And I know for sure I would eat many slices of this cheese and olive bread. Who could resist ;)?

  26. So appealing on so many fronts. The bread looks delicious. I love anything with olives. Perhaps a side of sardines? What? They’re not snack food? The light and styling is delicious too. Your culinary and aesthetic talents never cease to amaze me, and make me hungry.

  27. I admire your ability to avoid appetizers! I always tend to fill up on appetizers, bread, cheese…they are my favorite parts of a meal.

  28. Honestly I never even think about making a savory quick bread. A loaf of sourdough and some European butter… now that is dinner.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I plan on making this Cheese & Olive Bread for my wife and I. By the way: We love Same Sex Meritage (sounds like heritage)! The wine is so good, you have to taste it! We have gone through 2 cases in the past few months. Good for you – you made it part of your site! Good for SSM – they care and give! GG