Ham & Olive Bread, a French apéritif favourite

Ham & Olive Bread, a French apéritif favourite

This is a popular French recipe for a savoury cake au jambon et aux olives, ham and olive bread, that you will see frequently at informal gatherings in France. The texture is between a bread and a cake, which makes it great for picnics, apéros and BBQ’s. You can serve it sliced, or it also makes delicious little appetisers cut into small cubes (they will disappear quickly).


3 eggs
250g flour
150g chopped ham
100g shredded Gruyère cheese
100g pitted green olives
15cl olive oil
5cl Noilly Prat (or similar dry white vermouth)
1/2 sachet (2 teaspoons) baking powder
20g butter
salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 210°C.

1. Put the olives in some water for 1 minute to de-salt them a little and then dry them on paper towel.

2. Cut the rind of the ham off and then slice into pieces. Grate the cheese.

3. In a bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the eggs, olive oil and Noilly Prat and mix into a batter.

4. Add salt and pepper into the mixture then mix in the olives, ham and cheese.

5. Grease a loaf tin with butter and pour the mixture into it until its 3/4 full.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 210°C then turn the oven down to 150°C and cook for a further 35 minutes. Take out the cake and leave to cool on a rack.


Serve the cake at room temperature.

If you want a try different varieties of this cake, why not simply add a different filling like chorizo, salmon, lardons, roasted peppers, onion, courgettes – the batter will remain the same, but you can experiment with your favourite ingredients or use veggies from your garden or ingredients you have in the pantry.


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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A valued member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor to our publication.

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  • fridgeman
    2015-07-10 17:42:21
    This is a recipe worth trying, can be very yummy with one alteration, DO NOT use pitted olives, use whole olives (green or black) and pit them yourself a little more work but so much nicer