{ ffwd } back-of-the-card cheese and olive bread


Quite sorry for the lack of activity around here. I’m still travelling and it can be difficult to find a reliable internet connection where I am. Anyway, since I have no idea how long this glimmer of green wifi light is going to last, I’m going straight to the chase and talk about this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. 

It’s a salted cake or cake salé as the French would call it.  I tend to agree with them since for me it’s more cake-y than bread-y. And in this version, Dorie has us put olives, tapenade, and LOTS of cheese. 

To be honest, I was at first a little nervous about the olives. I had never made cake salé with olives before. I normally make mine with lots of herbs, summer vegetables and goat cheese. But I went ahead and chopped my olives, and made my tapenade. I mixed them in the batter and started grating my cheese – good ol’ cheddar. LOTS of it. I’m more familiar with the metric system and had no idea how much 6 oz of cheese would yield. So to my converter I turned and holy cow: 170 gr of cheese. I don’t know about you but 170 gr seemed a lot to me. I usually add at the very most only 100 gr of cheese to my cake. But anyway, in Dorie I trust. So I pressed on. I grated and grated.. and grated. Did I mention I hate grating? It’s one of my least favourite kitchen tasks, right up there with peeling red Asian shallots. 

In the end, I had what seemed to me like a mountain of cheese. I dumped them along with the olives and other goodies and tasted the batter raw.. it was salty. Too salty. Why oh why did I put that much cheese in my batter?! I couldn’t even taste my tapenade (which I loved). It seemed such a shame. Luckily I then spotted a jar of sundried tomatoes. I quickly chopped some, mixed them into the batter and prayed that it will all be alright. 

And guess what, it tasted like back-of-the-card cheese and sundried tomato bread.

Back-of-the-Card Cheese and Olive Bread (in 5 steps)

  1. Throw in flour, baking soda and a little salt in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, tapenade and olive oil.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix it all up.
  4. Fold in the chopped olives, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and some cheese.
  5. Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.

The complete recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”.

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14 thoughts on “{ ffwd } back-of-the-card cheese and olive bread

  1. I’m glad you brought this up………I often weigh my ingredients so I weighed out 6 ounces of Comté to use in this week’d bread. Then I grated it and the result was waaaayyy more than the 1 1/2 cups that Dorie suggested would be the result for the bread. Instead of putting all 6 ounces in the bread, I only put 1 1/2 cups. I also eliminated 3/4 teaspoon of salt because of the oil-cured olives and tapenade. My result was the bread was not salty. Don’t know if it had the cheesy taste that Dorie’s bread had but had I put in all 6 ounces, it would have been really, really cheesy.

  2. Interesting I had a slab of cheese that was about 8 ounces and I eyeballed 6 ounces and my bread was not too cheesy. I guess I put the 1/2 cup that Dorie probably used to measure. But I messed up on the salt. I think Dorie’s recipes are really great but I wish she was a little more exacting on her directions… you really have to be on your toes when you make her recipes.

  3. I am not a bread person but I a definitely a cheese person so the more cheese the better. But I agree with you this one felt more like a cake sale than a bread!!!

  4. I love the flat top on your loaf. It looks so elegant. I found the texture of this to be too cakey for me, but I did like the mix-ins. I used less cheese too, only because I didn’t plan ahead, and it wasn’t too salty, even with the olives and tapenade (and cheese). Happy travels.

  5. I never thought of this as a “cake”, but I can see where the texture is similar to a cake.
    I agree – grating is such a drag. Blech.
    Lovely bread!

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