Olive-Thyme-Rolls

A few weeks back I had been craving freshly baked bread so badly that I decided to bake olive-thyme-rolls for breakfast. Basically a good idea but first of all, I didn’t think about the time it takes for them to rise (yeast, hurry up a bit! I’m hungry!), secondly I didn’t think about the heat an oven produces. As it was about 30º Celcius (86º Fahrenheit) outside, baking bread-rolls might not have been the smartest thing to do.

I did it anyways!

While I absolutely adore the taste of those little beauties, I hate making the dough. Why? Because it seemed to stick to everything and my fingers looked like little dough-balls within seconds. This time I used the dough-program of my food processor the make the dough though, and throwing everything into a bowl and pressing a button isn’t a challenge. However, once the dough has risen for the first time I began forming little rolls and that proved to be a bit of a challenge. But hey, those guys don’t need to win a beauty-contest, right?

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Ingredients (yields about 12 rolls)

 100g black olives (pitted)
400g small spelt flour
100g wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
20g fresh yeast (or 1 packet of dried yeast)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme)


  1. Purée the olives with a bit of water until a smooth consistency forms.
  2. Mix flours and salt in a bowl. Why am I using small spelt flour? I actually came across this kind of flour when going grocery shopping. Small spelt flour is a rather old grain that has been widely used until the fifties, then it almost disappeared due to other, more fertile crops. But recently, farmers rediscovered the benefits of small spelt as it is very high in protein and minerals as well as carotenoids (which makes the flour look lightly yellow). Apart from the health benefits, I simply love the taste and how it makes my little rolls look.
  3. Dissolve the yeast in 300ml warm water and add to the flour mixture together with the olives, olive oil and thyme. If you use dried yeast,  mix it with the flour first and then add all wet ingredients as mentioned above. Knead for about 5 minutes (or let the food processor do that for you). The dough should come off the edge of the bowl.
  4. Form a ball, cover bowl and let sit for 45 minutes at a warm place. The dough should double in size.
  5. Knead for about 3 to 4 minutes on a slightly floured surface, then divide into 12 equal balls. Roll them between your hands and then twist the dough on the sides. Sprinkle with flour, put them on a lined or greased baking tray and use a sharp knife to cut into the surface. Cover.
  6. Make yourself some tea or coffee while the rolls rise (about 25 minutes).
  7. Preheat the oven to 250º C (480 Fahrenheit). Fill an oven-proof baking dish with water and put it on the lower rack.
  8. Put the rolls on the middle rack and make sure to close the oven door very quickly to keep the steam inside.
  9. Open the oven door 5 minutes into the baking, remove the dish with the water and lower the heat to 220º C (430 Fahrenheit).
  10. Bake for another 10 minutes. Open the oven door to let the steam out. Then bake the little guys for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool on a grid.

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