Greek Olive Bread




3 to 3-1/2 cups bread or
unbleached all purpose flour
1 pkg. (2-3/4) active dry yeast or
rapid rise yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup very warm water
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted oil cured or
black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, for brushing


In a large mixing bowl stir 3 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt together. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the water. Stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Scrape dough out onto the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and develops small bubbles just under the surface, about 5 minutes, adding more flour if the dough gets sticky. Place in a clean, greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and pat it into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Sprinkle with the olives and cheese. Knead the dough lightly to incorporate the ingredients, then shape into a ball. Pat out to make a circle 8 inches in diameter.

Place on a greased baking sheet.

With a 3-inch round cutter, cut a circle in the center but leave the round of dough in place. (You can bake the removed center alongside the bread; it will probably cook faster than the circular loaf.) Brush the dough with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Cover and let rise until puffy, 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is a rich golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool the bread on a wire rack before slicing. Makes 1 round loaf.

Beatrice Ojakangas Baking Book

Author's Comments

Nuggets of feta cheese and olives stud this delicious loaf, perfect with grilled or barbecued lamb or chicken.

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