This ultra-easy savory bread with olives, Parmesan, and garlic cooks right in a skillet for an exceptionally crisp, browned crust.

Skillet Olive Bread

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Most savory breads serve a crowd and require long rest periods and kneading. Not ours. We stirred together an effortless quick bread and baked it in a small cast-iron skillet, which gave us just enough for two. We started with all-purpose flour and added whole milk and sour cream for a moist texture. A whole egg lent richness and structure. Shredded Parmesan, minced garlic, chopped kalamata olives, and fresh basil ensured that our bread was robustly flavored, and our cast-iron pan guaranteed a crisp, golden-brown crust. Using the large holes of a box grater to shred the Parmesan adds a nice texture to the bread and helps prevent the cheese from burning. Do not substitute finely grated or pregrated Parmesan. We prefer to use an 8-inch cast-iron skillet here because it makes the best crust, but you can also use an 8-inch ovensafe skillet; increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes. See the sidebar that follows the recipe.

You will need to prepare Skillet Olive Bread

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (½ cup)

½ cup whole milk

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg, room temperature

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Whisk flour, basil, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Stir in ⅓ cup Parmesan, breaking up any clumps, until cheese is coated with flour. In separate bowl, whisk milk, sour cream, and egg together until smooth.
3. Heat oil in 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour all but 2 teaspoons garlic oil into milk mixture and whisk to incorporate. Gently fold milk mixture into flour mixture with rubber spatula until just combined, then fold in olives. (Batter will be heavy and thick; do not overmix.)
4. Working quickly, scrape batter into hot skillet, smooth top, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking.
5. Let bread cool slightly in skillet on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from skillet and serve warm or at room temperature.