I will continue with one more of my favorite olive foods: olive bread. In Greek it is called Eliopsomo. This bread is really something else; it can be a small meal, a snack, breakfast and an appetizer. I remember having a piece of this moist savory bread after a day on the beach and it just hit the spot. This bread makes a good snack nutritionally: the olives provide some fat while the feta some protein and the whole-wheat flour will give you fiber. These three nutritional components (fat, protein, fiber) provide satiety, making it an ideal snack or small meal. Of course you are getting some good antioxidants from the olives as well.
Now authentic Greek olive bread is of course vegetarian, and something Greeks could snack on during their religious fasts that prohibited animal products. My version includes cheese so although it wouldn’t be appropriate for Greek fasting, it is OK for vegetarians who also consume dairy. I also used half whole-wheat flour making it a bit healthier and heartier.
Olive bread can be made without olive oil or with a lot of olive oil. I used just a bit, added 3 different types of olives (Kalamata, Greek Green Olives and Throubes) and the feta, as I wanted this bread more for a snack or breakfast. If you intend on using this bread with dinner, than you can omit the feta and use less olives. For an appetizer you can cut into cubes and serve with a bit of olive oil. For a snack just slice it and eat it. Our two little loaves were gone in a day. And yes, this bread tastes much better after a day. And don’t forget to store in the refrigerator, as there is cheese in there.
I know, many of you will think that making bread is really time-consuming and well, difficult. Well it isn’t really. There is some waiting time involved (about 1 1/2 hour) but other than that, everything else is pretty straightforward. I did not use a mixer to knead the dough this time, I did it by hand, and I’ve provided a link with photos. But if you use a machine just make the basic dough following the instructions and then do the rest by hand.
Whole Wheat Olive and Feta Cheese Bread-Eliopsomo
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour 250 grams or about 9 ounces
- 2 cups all purpose flour 250 grams or about 9 ounces
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast 1/4 of ounce or 7 grams
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 2-3 tablespoons tablespoons oregano
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1-1 1/2 cup chopped olives depending on how chunky you want the bread
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese about 2 ounces or 60 grams
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- In a large bowl mix the instant yeast with the flour and then add the water.
- Add the salt and olive oil and mix well.
- Now place the dough on a floured surface and start kneading. Stretch the dough away from you and then roll it back in. Do this several times until dough is elastic and smooth. It took me about 7-10 minutes.
- Roll in a ball and cover with plastic wrap and put in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit somewhere warm for about an hour.
- Take the ball and separate in 2 balls. Stretch the ball so that you have a long piece of dough. Pour in there half the olives, half of the feta and half of the oregano. Form again in a ball making sure all the olives are tucked inside.
- Do the same with the other piece of dough.
- Place both balls on a pan flattening a bit and let them sit for about 30 minutes
- Preheat oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).
- Sprinkle some flour on top of each piece of dough and make a small slit.
- Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Due to the olives and feta, this bread is a bit moist; so let it cool down a bit before serving, otherwise it may fall apart.
Photo by Elena [email protected] All Rights Reserved
This is a great recipe to making using an no-knead artisan bread recipe. I mix my ingredients and let them sit on counter overnight. The next day I put it in the fridge if I don’t need it right away or I put it into a hot covered Dutch oven or Pyrex dish. To die for!
I managed it! Based on the recipe photo (I’ve never made it with a mix), I think it comes out very slightly denser, but definitely still utterly delicious.
My only issue was getting a very dry dough when I followed the quantities exactly (different climate, etc, not because of the flour type), but adding flour to the wet ingredients (instead of the other way around) until I had a good dough solved that problem on my second attempt. And even the first attempt tasted pretty great; it just took a lot of determinedly kneading in more olive oil to get a workable dough first.
Thanks for sharing your tips Devora!
Can this be made with only whole wheat flour?
Making now. Where is the link with photos? As a novice I would love photos.
Just starting this way of eating. I’m a little torn when it comes to some of these recipes as they say all purpose flour. I thought part of this WOE was to get away from “white” stuff. So… this recipe and the one for the biscuits (which sound AMAZING) call for white flour …. and that’s OK???
Hi Betty, Yes, all purpose flour was occasionally traditionally used, and this is OK because the rest of the diet is based on vegetables, legumes, greens, very little meat, no ready to eat processed foods. Having a slice of bread made with white flour here and there is fine as long as the rest of the diet is based on the above foods.
I’ In the process of making this bread and my dough was crumbling after I mix it? I add little drops of water as I was kneading it. Any idea why this happened?
Is there a GF flour you’d recommend for this recipe pls?
Hi Sandy, I have not used gluten free flour with this flour. But if you make bread with a specific GF flour it should work for this one as well.
Hi, I live in the UK what is the equivalent of all-purpose flour for this recipe? Is it strong bread flour, or plain flour?
Hi Emilia, The equivalent would be regular flour.
I’m a fairly novice baker but this recipe turned out pretty well for me. The only problem: it didn’t rise as much as I’d have liked, and the end result was kind of dense! Would increasing the yeast or decreasing the flour help, or should I activate the yeast first in warm water before adding to the bread?
Activating the yeast may help. Also whole wheat flour can have that effect. You may want to try changing the ration of whole wheat flour to regular flour.
Yum! I love feta and olives together – I could eat that all day. My Persian husband is going to love to this recipe, he eats Feta like no person I know. Great recipe, thank you! Just curious, if you add more olive oil to the bread how does it change the texture of the crumb, do you know?
Another Delectable Delight!