Dorie Greenspan´s Back-of-the-Card Cheese and Olive Bread


It´s all in the details. Both in everyday life and in recipes. A little change in ingredients can deliver a completely different outcome.
This bread, called back-of-the-card cheese and olive bread, and the one cheddar scallion pecan bread seemed very similar in the book. They´re one after the other, and look pretty much the same when you read the list of ingredients. Olive oil, sharp cheese, eggs, flour, milk, one with scallions and pecans the other with olives and tapenade.

Yes, I´m here to tell you that it´s all in the details. So I decided to not only make the obvious changes like olives, da-ah look at the title, but also use some whole wheat flour and my sun dried tomato pesto instead of the tapenade the recipe calls for. Oh, and braised garlic infused oil. 
That pesto is my favorite, and it was a good excuse to make it again. And also, I have a post ready to share with you soon with the recipe. Not today, let´s give this olive bread the spotlight it deserves.

This recipe for our French Fridays with Dorie group, is simple, pretty quick to make and can be adjusted here and there, like I did. Dorie urges us to do so. And there´s no messing with the boss´ orders.

The days here are so warm and sunny lately, they´re almost annoying. I don´t mind a mild winter, but this is no winter at all. I was ready to nest, enjoy the cold dark mornings and afternoons, bake and such, but all I get are short days. Warm short days, and they´re no fun.
My mother is visiting also. She has to send some papers to the US and I´m the designated notary, translator and general administrative, whether I like it or not.

So she happened to drop by about an hour after I had baked this bread. In no time she was armed with a glass of white wine and a thick slice of it, munching happily through sighs of contentment. So I told her to take it over to her friend´s house where she´s staying. Before I knew it, the olive bread was all wrapped up, just in case I changed my mind. Then I remembered I hadn´t taken the pictures. That would´ve been a bad thing to realize later, after she was gone.

So the bread got unwrapped, a few shots taken, and in no time it was back inside my mother´s purse. I don´t think it lasted long. I never asked how much of it made it to her friend´s house either.

The sun dried tomato pesto and whole wheat flour give it a chewy texture and shady color. It also has more of an eggy flavor. The braised garlic oil gave it a deep, complex aftertaste. 
It is a great bread for soup or barbecue. I love the sudden burst of olive flavor here and there. And though I only had one slice, I suspect it´s amazing toasted, just like the cheddar scallion pecan bread.
Another good bread to have in the freezer for spur-of-the-moment needs.

adapted from Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

Makes 8 servings


1 cup bread or all purpose flour
2/3 cups fine whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, at room tº
½ cup whole milk
6 ½ Tbs garlic infused oil
1 ½ Tbs sun dried tomato pesto, tapenade or regular pesto
4 oz. grated asiago cheese
2/3 cups chopped, pitted black olives
2 Tbs grated asiago cheese, for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat oven to 375º. Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch non-stick loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir flours and salt. Add grated cheese and stir to mix.
In a glass jar or bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add milk, oil and pesto.
Add liquid ingredients to dry ones all at once. With a spatula quickly mix with a few strokes. Add the olives and mix some more, but do not overmix.
Transfer to the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
After 20 minutes in the oven, sprinkle with 2 Tbs grated asiago cheese if desired, and continue baking.

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  1. Whole wheat flour certainly does add depth to baked goods. Brilliant idea, Paula. The choice of Asiago sounds like a good decision, too...It's a kid crowd pleaser, too. (I've used it in Mac 'n Cheese.)

    Anyway, your breads are beautiful. And your mother (and her friend) must be feeling very blessed with your baked goods =)

  2. Oooh I love your tweaked versions :) They look fabulous! I agree it begs to be tweaked and I can't wait to try it again!

  3. I followed Dorie's recipe and added the sun-dried tomatoes she suggested in the Bonne Idea. It wasn't something I would make again. However your version sounds delicious! And the pics are great :)

  4. What an incredible bread to go with a glass of wine. It has all the elements I love baked into a loaf of heavenly goodness. Awesome Paula.

  5. Oh goodness, that looks fabulous Paula. Looks really soft and moist. Plus, there's olives... and asiago cheese. Yum!

  6. Looks and sounds delicious! And you photos are stunning, Paula.

  7. I love breads full of savory ingredients like this! When I was in culinary school, the baking class would make a similar savory olive bread each day. All of the baked goods were sold at a little shop at the front of the school. Well, the olive bread would sell out in seconds. People would seriously line up there and wait for it!

  8. Mothers definitely are privy to perks that I don't think I would give anyone else (like sending home a whole loaf of bread :-) )
    Beautiful pictures, Paula

  9. Change is a good thing! And if it includes olives and cheese I'm listening! A fabulous treat!

  10. Look at those olive chunks!!!

  11. Happy to hear that you had an appreciative audience.

  12. I can't wait to bake this. . I've been meaning to ever since I saw it in Dorie's cookbook. . I hear you on the mother thing. . does she know how to use a computer? This is what I have to re-teach my mom every time I see her. How to turn on her computer and check her email. . it's so frustrating but I love her still. What can we do? good thing you remembered before she left. . I can see you chasing after her to get this bread for the photos! :) Happy Friday, Paula!

  13. I haven't made sun-dried tomato pesto in years! Thanks for the reminder and what a great way to use it! I am thinking some rosemary oil might be pretty darned good in this, too. You are SO right - the details make all the diffence, and can turn something ho-hum into something so-fun! ~ David

  14. Wow, Paula, your photos are fantastic!

  15. Gorgeous photos...and such a nice treat for your mom. I was feeling a bit of deja vu, too, when baking this bread!

  16. Yummy! I couldn't say I love this bread but it does make a good appertiser nonetheless. I love your pics!

  17. I loved this one too - it was so good. Have a great weekend.

  18. You tweaked and twisted Dorie's tweaks and twists and came up with your own Paula-version. Love how it looks and glad that you got at least one taste. Since I took my loaf to a party, I never got to try a "toasted" piece either. I think it would be delicious. Well, as you said, we'll make this again. I wish I was brave enough to incorporate whole wheat flour into my baking recipes and hopefully I will do that in the future. Right now, as I adjust to the altitude, I'm just thrilled if I'm successful with the recipe, as is. Be careful what you wish for, Paula. Winter will come.

  19. Paula, you made some nice and creative changes to this basic quick bread recipe - sounds like they were deliciously successful!

  20. I love your wonderfully earthy version of this recipe... I'm so glad to see an original adapation because I think the recipe really lends itself to be played around with.

  21. Phew..I'm glad you caught it before it went out the door with your Mom, for photos! I can't tell you how many times I had to take photos of end pieces. Most of those posts never made it up lol I love a nice, savory quick bread and yours is perfection. Olives, cheese and sun dried tomato pesto looks and sounds amazing. I would love to sandwich a few slices with salami right now!

  22. The bread looks fantastic and your pictures are so artistic!! I am sure your mum and her friends enjoyed it very very much!!

  23. Your mom got lucky that day! It was too cakey for me, so I wasn't going to try this again, but I like your idea of using some whole wheat flour. I can confirm this is good with soup. I served along side a bowl of gazpacho. Nice job, as always, Paula!

  24. Thanks God you mother decide to unwrap your bred so you can took photos...the bread looks incredible...!!!

  25. I like all of the changes you made! Lucky timing for your mother:)

  26. These look so moist and delicious Paula. I love olive and cheese bread and will be putting this on my to-bake list. Pinning! :)

  27. Love the changes youve made too! and especially the lines of cheese baked in on top :)

  28. I love olives and cheese in bread - this looks fab!

  29. mmmmhhh... this bread looks fantastic! What a great idea to serve with some white wine on a hot summer night :) Love it!! Saving the recipe right now!
    xox Amy

  30. The garlic infused oil sounds awesome! I bet it adds that slight garlic flavor but without having little pieces of garlic. Hopefully your warm winter means next winter will be warm for us. I'm already dreading it :(

  31. I love your photos and how they bring out the base rustic-ness of this loaf. Made it thurs but its still here being enjoyed as I have to ration it.

  32. I love the texture of this bread. Great idea to add some SD pesto. Looks like it would be delicious toasted for breakfast too...


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