Go Back
+ servings
A traditional French Christmas bread: sweet olive oil bread or Pompe à l'huile. | ethnicspoon.com
5 from 2 votes

Sweet Olive Oil Bread

A Christmas baking tradition you must try. Sweet olive oil bread (pompe a l’huile) is one of the traditional breads served at Christmas time in France. It is especially popular in the south of France. It’s a cross between a focaccia and brioche, that’s the best way to describe it. Sweet olive oil bread can be shaped in the round or oval.  In order to ensure an even bake, the bread needs to be scored. Sweet olive oil bread forms part of the 13 desserts served in France during the reveillon or Christmas dinner served after midnight Mass.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword 13 desserts, baking bread, sweet bread, yeasted bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 8 servings
Calories 427 kcal


  • 3 ¾ cup flour
  • cup sugar Plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 packet dry active yeast 7 gram package
  • 1 cup water warm
  • ¾ cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp extra virgin
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Place 1 ½ cups of flour, sugar and yeast and water in a bowl and stir well. Let the mixture sit in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add remaining flour, ¾ cup of oil and salt and stir to form a dough.
  3. Turn on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5-7 minutes).
  4. Place dough in a large clean bowl that has been greased with the additional tablespoon of olive oil. The dough needs to rise for about 3 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Preheat oven to 400''F. Turn dough onto a sheet of parchment and stretch out with your fingers, trying to form a 12" circle.
  6. Starting from the center, cut 5 slits that are about 1" wide by about 2" long side by side. Scoop out the center dough You will basically be creating a sand dollar pattern.
  7. Stretch the slits made so they widen a bit.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place dough on top.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Immediately after you remove the bread from the oven, brush with the 2 Tbsp. of hot water to allow the crust to soften.
  11. Place bread on a cooling rack.
  12. Eat warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Sweet Olive Oil Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 427 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 149mg6%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 6g12%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.