Willie Harcourt-Cooze's Cacao and Olive Bread Recipe

Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s Cacao and Olive Bread Recipe

Makes 1 large loaf or 10 rolls

Willie Harcourt-Cooze's Cacao and Olive Bread RecipeIngredients:

300g plain white flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon easy-blend yeast
150ml full fat milk
150ml water
75g Venezuelan Carenero Superior 100% cacao, chopped or grated
75ml extra virgin olive oil
200g green olives, pitted and chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten or 1tbsp milk
1 tbsp fennel seeds


  1. Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast. Warm the milk and water in a saucepan. Add the cacao and stir until it has melted. Pour in the olive oil and mix well. Tip this warm liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more flour or warm water if necessary to achieve the right consistency. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes, until soft and elastic. You can also make the dough in a food processor or an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Simply place the flour, salt and yeast in the mixer or processor bowl, then add a warm liquid and process for about 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the dough and knead a little more to mix in. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel, or place another large bowl upturned on top. Leave in a warm place for at least two hours to allow the dough to rise, doubling in size.
  3. Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface and knock it back to its original size. Press into a large, oiled bread tin or divide into ten pieces and shape each into a small roll. Place the rolls on an oiled baking tray. Lightly brush the top of the loaf or the rolls with either a little egg yolk or milk, then sprinkle over the fennel seeds. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until well risen (almost doubled in size).
  4. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and bake the bread: 45 minutes for the loaf, or 15 minutes for the rolls. To test if the bread is done, tap it sharply on the underside – it should sound hollow. If not, return to the oven for a further 3-5 minutes and test again. When fully cooked, turn the loaf out of the tin, or remove the rolls from the tray, and leave to cool on a wire rack.


These recipes are taken from Willie’s Chocolate Bible, published by Hodder & Stoughton (£25), to accompany my review here.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.


  1. […] can try the cacao and olive bread recipe here. But perhaps bread making isn’t for everyone so there’s also a Christmassy orange, […]

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