Salted Olive Crisps – Cook-the-Book-Fridays

Talking about bread knives, which are critical to the success of this bake, I started with a check list. Good bread knife. Checked. But I can’t say that my olives were equally as good. I used some generic Greek olive medley for the salted olive crisps.

Good knives are essential in the kitchen. We received a good set of chef knives as a housewarming gift decades ago. I passed on the set to my daughter when she went to college. To my surprise, she brought home her knives during the semester break — to be sharpened. She too appreciates the importance and effectiveness of shape knives. We have since developed an unspoken routine. Instead of her traveling with the chef knives, I travel with my knife sharpener when I visit her. With my Chef’s Choice professional sharpener, I’d go to work and sharpen every knife I can find in her kitchen.

The easy part of this salted olive crisps recipe in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen is mixing the batter. The dry ingredients: all-purpose and whole wheat flour, sugar, herbes de Provence, baking soda, salt and pepper, are mixed in with the buttermilk. I substituted kefir milk, which I had on hand, for buttermilk. Key flavor and texture ingredients of olive and almonds went in last.

I used two mini loaf pans instead of one full-size 9-inch loaf pan. They went into a 350°F oven, until the toothpick came out clean when inserted in the center, about 30 minutes. They looked like quick breads. I tried to resist the temptation to kick start the next step (cutting the loaves into thin slices of no thicker than 1/4 inch), until the loaves were completely cool. Even with a sharp bread knife, it was hard to keep the edges of the loaf from crumbling. That’s the tricky part of the exercise.

The thin slices were laid flat on the baking sheet and baked at 325°F for about 30 to 35 minutes. I managed to get about 36 mini crisps. I probably did not slice them thin enough. They are still perfect snacks. The saltiness of the olives deliver an appealing sophisticated flair.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    April 7, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Good idea to make these in mini-loaf tins (the bake time in the large tin is not very accurate) and looks like it was easier to slice them too. I did my best but only got 24 slices… Yours are so cute!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I had read that the nuts made it more challenging to slice, which is one of the reasons I left them out, but the olives were challenging too. I really had to hold it firmly when slicing. These were delicious, crisp or not!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I used almond slices which did not present a problem. The problem was the texture of the crisps. May be freezing them before cutting is the solution. I did not try that. Just speculating!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    The smaller size is great for snacking. They are certainly easier to grab onto when it comes to slicing them thinly.

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    April 8, 2017 at 12:37 am

    I thought about using almond slices but since David didn't suggest it, I went with his recipe. I think using the mini-pans was ideal for this recipe. Also like your freezer suggestion. In fact, I might use all your ideas and try again! Very well-written post, understandable.I could go through your steps in my head since I had actually made the crisps. Like your photos also. Just ordered a knife sharpener. I have always taken mine to a kitchen speciality store for sharpening. That entails time, effort and the loss of my favorite knives for a week or so. It's about time I invested in my own sharpener. Thanks for the push.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2017 at 12:35 am

      I've learned to use a sharp knife at all times. I sharpen my knives every few uses. Never regret having the sharpener around. Never a dull knife again.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    That is a gorgeous photo with the glass of wine. I had to laugh at your knife sharpener story. We purchased one a few years ago and Jim just loves using it. He had Tricia bring over her knives so he can sharpen hers too, every couple of months. It certainly makes a big difference.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Your mini-loaves are adorable. I like the size you ended up with. These were definitely a delicious snack (still nibbling on them…) I sliced mine warm and had some trouble getting them thin. Interesting to know that you had the same issue with a completely cool loaf. Not sure what to do… Maybe will try your freezer idea if I make these again.
    I have a Chef's Choice sharpener too. Love it. So easy to keep the knives sharp!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Yes!! mini loaves – I did the same! Pretty smart idea.

  • Reply
    KB from Prof Who Cooks
    April 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I had a bit of trouble with the slicing as well, though it wasn't too bad, and I did use pre-sliced almonds, which I think helped. I wonder if using a smaller/less wide loaf pan would also help with that. Great tips, Shirley–I always enjoy reading your blog for the knowledgeable advice and the beautiful photos.

  • We're open to your comments and suggestions!