Appetizers/ Bread/ Christmas Recipes/ Greek Classics/ Holiday Recipes

Eliopsomo: Greek Olive Bread

The Greek word eliopsomo translates to olive (elia) bread (psomi). Homemade bread is the ultimate comfort food. The addition of olives makes this a festive bread that is perfect for entertaining.

Homemade bread is easier to make than one would imagine. With a few pieces of kitchen equipment, you could very easily make bakery-quality bread at home.

Here are my bread making essentials:

  1. A cast iron skillet is placed on the bottom rack of the oven (while it’s preheating) and as soon as the bread goes in, cold water is carefully poured into the hot pan to create steam. The steam is what creates that bakery-style crust on the exterior of the loaf of bread. Don’t forget to remove the skillet from the oven and season it after the bread is made so that it does not rust.
  2. A pizza stone or oven tiles. Replicating the high heat of bakery ovens at home is impossible but, keeping clay oven tiles or a good quality pizza stone in your oven will yield the best results. I measure my oven racks and then either buy a thick pizza stone or have my local tile shop cut tiles to fit on my rack. I always leave them in the oven (even when I run the automatic clean cycle. Removing them from the oven causes them to break or crack.
  3. A stand mixer is not absolutely necessary, but it does make life so much easier. Kneading dough by hand can take up to 15 minutes and will sometimes keep me from making homemade bread.

Here’s a link to my favorite bread making essentials. Purchasing anything from my affiliate links helps support my work without any additional cost to you. Thank you!


This bread is delicious with some herbs and olives but, you can get creative and add your favorite fillings in here. Feta cheese, caramelized onions, and sundried tomatoes all pair well with olives. Use one or add them all! It’s up to you.

 

There are so many reasons to love this bread. It’s not just delicious, it’s also a great recipe for entertaining. Just make a batch or two of this bread and serve it with your favorite cheeses, olives and dips to create a delicious board. Easy peasy! Olive bread also makes for the perfect holiday gift. Place a loaf in a basket along with a spread or two and bring it to a friend’s home as a thoughtful homemade hostess gift.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think!

Print Recipe

Eliopsomo: Greek Olive Bread

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: 1 loaf

The Greek word eliopsomo translates to olive (elia) bread (psomi). Homemade bread is the ultimate comfort food. The addition of olives makes this a festive bread that is perfect for entertaining.

Ingredients

  • The Wet Ingredients:
  • • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • • 1 and 1/2 cups tepid water
  • • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • The Dry Ingredients:
  • • 2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • • 2 cups (320 grams) bread flour
  • • 1 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for filling
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • Optional filling ingredients:
  • • Sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • • Caramelized onions
  • • Crumbled feta cheese
  • • Fresh herbs
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

1

Combine the wet ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and set aside for 8 minutes or until the yeast is activated. As soon as a foamy cloud appears on top of the liquid the yeast is active. If this does not happen, discard the mixture and start over with a fresh batch of yeast.

2

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Add them to the yeast mixture along with 1.4 cup olive oil and the rosemary. Knead on low speed for 8 minutes.

3

Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in the warmest part of your home for 1-2 hours or until doubled in volume.

4

Place the dough on a clean work surface and cut it into 4 pieces. Stretch each piece of dough as much as possible without tearing. Approximately 10 inches in diameter. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on 3 of the dough circles and distribute the olives evenly on top of each piece. Stack the pieces of dough on top of each other and form into a ball by bringing all of the ends towards the center.

5

Preheat oven to 500 °F, 260 °C.

6

Place a cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven and a pizza stone on the center rack to preheat.

7

Place the dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.

8

Brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

9

Cut 4-5 slits on the top of the dough and place it on the center rack of the oven.

10

Reduce the oven’s temperature to 450 °F, 230 °C

11

Carefully pour 1 and ½ cups ice-cold water into the cast iron skillet to create steam in the oven. This will create a bakery-style crust on the bread.

12

Bake for 30 minutes. Place the bread directly onto the pizza stone for 5 more minutes.

13

Allow the bread to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

14

Enjoy!

 

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