Olive Bread (Ελιόψωμο)Apr 19th, 2008 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Baking, Bread, Easter, Greek, Herbs, Olive Oil, Olives, Vegetarian
Next week is home stretch for the Greeks’ Great Lent. Our family (like many other Greeks around the world) will surely fast right up until when the bells strike midnight on “Megalo Sabbato” and we crack those first Easter eggs and shout “Christos Anesti” or Christ has risen!
One of foods we will be eating is this olive bread. This recipe comes courtesy of inlaws by marriage who are natives to Halkidiki, the northern Greek summer playground.
Halkidiki is the prefecture that produces a large amount of olives. The most famous olives from Halkidiki are the large, green Gaidouria (donkey) and the black, sweeter & wrinkled Throumpes.
Another thing one will notice near the shorelines of Greece is the growth of wild rosemary. Where our summer home is, residents often have hedges of rosemary doubling as fences around their properties.
This olive bread is a celebration of the bounty of Halkidiki…olives and rosemary. The filling is of sauteed onions, fresh Spring mint and Black Throumpes. The tops of the olive bread are brushed with olive oil and finished off with rosemary. It’s rich in filling, rolled up much like a streudel and served alone or as an accompaniment to a soup.
Olive Bread (Ελιόψωμο)
1 heaping Tbsp. of active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. salt
6 cups of warm water
1 cup olive oil
8 cups of whole wheat flour
4 cups of all-purpose white flour
24 medium onions, diced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
4 cups of black Throumpes, pitted and chopped
- Add 1/2 cup olive oil into a large pot and over medium heat add your onions and then saute on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes while stirring and until the onions are translucent and there’s little water left. Add your chopped mint and olives and stir in. Allow to cool before add mixture to the dough.
- In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients (except sugar) and reserve. In another large bowl, add your warm water, sugar and yeast and allow some moments for the yeast to activate. Now add your olive oil to the yeast starter and then add your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Knead your dough for about 5 minutes until you get a soft dough. Roll into a large ball and place your dough back into the large bowl. Cover your dough with some olive oil and some plastic cling-wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm part of the kitchen for approx. 45 minutes.
- Knead your dough for another 5 minutes and then form into smaller dough balls (which will become your loaves.
- Roll each dough ball out into the size of a large pizza. Spread a layer of the filling across the area of the dough and then roll it up and place on baking tray (seam side down) that’s been treated with cooking spray. Repeat until your dough and filling have been used up to make a total of 8 loaves.
- Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh or dry rosemary. Bake in a pre-heated 450Foven (middle rack for 30 minutes or until light brown.
- Place your baked olive bread on a counter to cool with a tablecloth covering. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
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