The smell of homemade bread baking in the oven is pure comfort. This olive bread is filled with Greek Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and scallions. It’s so flavorful and delicious and super easy to make. Serve it as an appetizer alongside feta cheese and olive oil or as a side to any meal.
The Ingredients & Options
I kept this bread recipe vegan this time around but while recipe testing, I added a nice big handful of crumbled feta cheese and Oh my God was it delicious! Here are the ingredients that I used plus some more options:
- Pitted Kalamata Olives: since the recipe calls for a large amount of olives (1 and 1/2- 2 cups) I prefer to buy the olives already pitted. Then, I roughly chop them. Costco carries very good quality pitted olives as do many Mediterranean specialty food stores. Feel free to use a combination of your favorite olives if you prefer.
- Scallions: I love scallions because they’re delicate and light and don’t release a ton of liquid. Feel free to substitute leeks (they will require sautéing before they’re added to the bread) or caramelized onions.
- Roasted Red Peppers: I always have a jar or two of roasted red peppers. They’re delicious in salads, soups, stews, savory pies, bread, and dips. Basically good to add to anything savory 😁
- Dried Crushed Oregano: Greek or Mexican oregano is my favorite. However, you can substitute dried rosemary or thyme instead of the oregano.
- Feta cheese: add some if you’re not concerned about keeping it Vegan. I always recommend purchasing feta blocks instead of already crumbled feta. It takes a few seconds to crumble the feta and the taste is far superior to the overly salty crumbled bits that come in bags.
- Gouda Cheese: Gouda cheese and olives are a match made in heaven. Add some shredded Gouda or even Gruyere and thank me later 🙂
More Bread Recipes:
- Greek Feta Bread: Tiropsomo: Soft & Delicious!
- Garden Art Lagana (the Greek Focaccia) Bread
- The Softest Pita Pocket Recipe: The Oven Method
Watch the Video
For the Starter:
- 2 cups lukewarm (115 °F) water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 -2 cups pitted olives, roughly chopped
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1-2 roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 16-inch round baking pan or a half sheet baking pan
- 2 sheets of parchment paper
- 2 tablespoons semolina flour or cornmeal
Make the starter:
Combine all of the starter ingredients into the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Mix the ingredients together with a spoon or whisk and set aside for 8-10 minutes.
A puffy cloud will form on the top of the mixture. If this does not happen, throw away the mixture and start with a different batch of yeast. Yeast very rarely goes bad, but when it does, it cannot be used.
Combine the remaining flour and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
Add the flour mixture along with the olive oil to the yeast mixture. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes.
Place the dough in an oiled large bowl and cover with plastic. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes around 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the temperature.
Make the Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl and toss.
Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of oil on a piece of parchment paper and transfer the dough on top of it. Press it with your hands and form it into a 15 inch circle. Add all of the filling on top of the dough. Gather the ends of the circle and bring them towards the center to cover the filling. Smooth the top out and flatten it.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of semolina on top of it. Carefully transfer the filled dough, seaam-side down onto the pan.
Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm part of your home to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Make some indentations in the dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the sesame seeds.
Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top and bottom of the bread is golden.
Allow the bread to rest for 15 minutes and serve. Kali Orexi!
Options: Add feta cheese and shredded gouda to the filling or any of the following ingredients:
- sundried tomatoes
- sautéed bell peppers
- crushed red pepper flakes
- assorted pitted olives
- mozzarella cheese
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