Chilli and garlic olive oil bread

I am grumpy. I hate winter and now the nights are drawing in it makes it even more difficult to execute a blog post from start to finish during the week. So I have to use the flash and tungsten light bulbs and all my photos look, well, shitty.


I can promise that my bread is delicious, and it’s well worth taking the time to let the chilli and garlic flavours infuse into the oil – possibly overnight. I left mine for a couple of hours and I got a quite mild taste but could see potential for flavour development.

Chilli and garlic olive oil

This bread’s a bit of a mixture of ideas and recipes. I really love making Steph from Clockwork Lemon’s focaccia but looked around for some possible other olive oil recipes to use and found this one for Pompe à l’Huile and make hybrid mixture of the two; that is to say I used more of the ingredient make up of the pompe recipe but more of the technique of the focaccia, leaving it to develop in the fridge overnight rather than making a poolish. I found the dough very very slippery, so I added more flour than was specified in the pompe recipe.

Chill and garlic olive oil bread

The resultant bread is sweet with a hint of spicy flavour and gentle garlic overtones. I took it to work where it was dipped in balsamic and (more!) olive oil but Mr Lay the table made some delicious salami sandwiches with it.

{Makes one loaf}


  • 500g white bread flour
  • 250ml water
  • 9g fresh yeast
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • 175ml olive oil
  • 2tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 long chillies (2 red, 1 green)


  1. To make the chilli and garlic oil, take one of the chillies and slice lengthways. Peel the garlic and press gently with the side of a knife. Place in a small saucepan with the olive oil. Warm VERY gently for a couple of minutes and then take off the heat. Leave to infuse for an hour or two, or overnight in a container in the fridge. If you leave it overnight, remember to get it out of the fridge and let the oil get to room temperature before using it.
  2. In a large bowl (or mixer) add the flour, water and sugar together and crumble in the yeast.
  3. Strain the olive oil to remove the chilli and any seeds plus the garlic. Then add a couple of tablespoons at a time into the dough, ensuring it’s well mixed before adding more.
  4. Once it’s all well mixed, knead by hand (ok, you can use the mixer but I think you should put some love into this!) for about 10 minutes.
  5. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for an hour to rise and then gently press down into the dough with your knuckles to flatten.
  6. Make dough ball and then press into a flattish circle and place on a baking tray. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and chop the two chillies. Decorate the top of the dough with the garlic and chilli slices and brush with olive oil.
  7. Leave for 2 hours at room temparature, then cover loosely (to allow rise) with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge.
  8. One hour before cooking, remove from the fridge and allow dough to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C and bake for around 25 minutes. To check whether it’s cooked, gently turn upside down and check the base to see whether it’s squishy or not. If it’s too squishy, it’s not cooked!
  9. Leave to cool on a cooling rack

chilli and garlic olive oil bread cut open


  1. says

    I feel your pain! I hate winter too, and it’s such a pain not being able to take nice snaps of the things you make in the week….by the weekend anything tasty has usually disappeared! Having said that your photos look lovely – great recipe :-)

  2. says

    Another great post. I too am not looking forward to the long winter nights. But, thank heavens that we have seasons with which we can ring the changes with different recipes.
     I think your Olive Oil infusing idea would work when making savoury cakes. Instead of just adding Olive Oil to a cake, infusing it with additional flavours would add an extra dimension to a cake.


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