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Olive Bread / Eliopsomo

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a perfect loaf of traditional Greek eliopsomo / olive bread

Eliopsomo (eeleeOPsomo), traditional Greek olive bread, combines two of my forever-favorites into one – bread and olives 🙂

This no-knead, slow-rise, authentically vegan recipe takes five of the most basic ingredients and turns them into heaven. In an effort to reproduce an authentic Greek bread baking method using clay covered bakers, I use a clay bread cloche. These are easy to find and not very expensive and give you the most amazingly crunchy crust! Another option would be a Dutch oven, I’ve used them a few times when baking away from home and the results were wonderful.

a light crumb, high rise and full of juicy olives!

Simply mix everything together in a large bowl, cover with a cloth and set in a warm spot to rise for 8-10 hours. Turn the risen dough into your cloche or Dutch oven, cover and bake for 1 hour at 450 degrees. D.U.N. done! Fresh bread for you 🙂

Below is a bit slower run-down of the above!

  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour**
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp semolina flour for bottom of cloche (optional)

**Whole wheat or white whole wheat flour are very nice in this recipe too. That said, I do make sure let the dough go a full 10 hours with whole wheat and it gives you a bit more dense finished crumb.

In a large bowl, completely combine flour, salt and yeast. Slowly, about a half cup at a time, add water and mix by hand. Continue to add water by half cups until ingredients come together in a rough ball. Add in chopped olives and mix into dough to disperse olives evenly. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 8-10 hours.

Optional: Prepare you cloche bottom or Dutch oven by sprinkling a teaspoon or so of semolina flour (course or fine) over the bottom surface.

When risen, turn the dough out directly onto the cloche bottom or into your Dutch oven. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for exactly 1 hour. Uncover and check for doneness – for new bread bakers, use an instant read thermometer. You’re looking for anywhere from 87-93 degree internal bread temperature. More experienced bakers, tap the bottom of the loaf and listen for doneness. Honestly, one hour covered hits the mark every time for me!

Allow bread to rest for about 15 minutes before diving in. The loaf above was sliced for pre-portioning at a potluck but do try just tearing off a chunk with your hands. Very satisfying 🙂

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