Crisp, tangy yet earthy flavours explode on your palate, with this all rounder, use everywhere Greek Olive bread. All breads in Greece serve one purpose! To scoop up all that yummy goodiness at the bottom of the plate and this Olive bread is no exception!
- TIME NEEDED
- 4 hours and 35 minutes cook time
- 3 and 1/4 cups (about 430g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed for shaping and pan
- 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 heaping cup (about 135g) GAEA stuffed green olives
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) cool water, about 70°F (21°C)
- 1/2 teaspoons GAEA Organic Extra Virgin Oil
- In a large un-greased mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast, salt, oregano, and garlic powder together. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the olives. Pour in the cool water and gently mix together. The dough will seem dry and shaggy, but keep working it until all the flour is moistened. If needed, use your hands to work the dough ingredients together. The dough will be sticky. Shape into a ball in the bowl as best you can.
- Keeping the dough in the bowl, cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set on the counter at room temperature (honestly any normal room temperature is fine). Allow to rise for 2-3 hours. The dough will just about double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and have a lot of air bubbles.
- You can continue with step 4 immediately, but for absolute best flavor and texture, I strongly recommend letting this risen dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. (Even just a couple hours is good!) Place covered dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The dough will puff up during this time, but may begin to deflate after 2 days. That’s normal and nothing to worry about.
- Lightly dust a large nonstick baking sheet (with or without rims and make sure it’s nonstick) with flour and/or cornmeal. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Using generously floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Dough is very sticky. Loosely cover and allow dough to rest for 45 minutes. You will bake the dough on this prepared baking sheet. See recipe note if you want to use a pizza stone or dutch oven.
- During this 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- When ready to bake, using a very sharp knife or bread lame (some even use kitchen shears), score the dough with a slash or an X, about 1/2 inch deep. (“Score” = shallow cut.) If the shaped loaf flattened out during the 45 minutes, use floured hands to reshape into a ball.
- Optional for a slightly crispier crust: After the oven is preheated and bread is scored, place a shallow metal or cast iron baking pan or skillet (I usually use a metal 9×13 baking pan) on the bottom oven rack. Carefully and quickly pour 3-4 cups of boiling water into it. Place the scored dough/baking pan on a higher rack and quickly shut the oven, trapping the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust.
- Place the shaped and scored dough (on the flour/cornmeal dusted pan) in the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. How to test for doneness– give the warm loaf a light tap. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. For a more accurate test, the bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf as 195°F (90°C).
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
You can also use the Gaea Green olives stuffed with garlic instead, for a garlicky flavoured bread!