Cypriot Olive Bread

(Elio Pitta)

This is one of my absolutely favourite breads my mum made for us growing up. It is crispy on the outside but soft and full of olives and flavour on the inside. Such nostalgic memories when I bake this bread for my family. Its a perfect dinner bread, sandwich and anytime bread. It also freezes wonderfully. When ready to enjoy again, remove from freezer, thaw and wrap with foil. Bake in a 400 F preheated oven until warm and soft. Our traditional version is with sun-dried black olives and cilantro but you can definitely substitute kalamata olives and parsley. 





Olive Mixture
2 cups sun-dried black olives or kalamata, pitted and cut in half 
1 cup cilantro or Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 cup Flour + extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 cup olive
Juice of one large orange

In a medium bowl, add all the olive mixture ingredients and toss well.  In large measuring cup, add warm water, yeast, sugar and flour. Give it a little stir and leave to proof. In an other large bowl, mix flour with salt and add olive oil, mix well with hands. Stir in olive mixture until well mixed. Then pour in orange juice and yeast mixture! Mix until a slightly sticky dough forms! You might need to add a bit more flour if too sticky. Turn dough into floured surface and knead until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Place in bowl cover with plastic wrap and towel and let proof in a warm spot until dough has doubled, about 1 hour. Turn dough on floured surface and knead for a few more minutes. Line the large glass bowl with parchment paper. Place dough on parchment paper, cover with towel and let proof for an additional 20 minutes. While dough is proofing, preheat oven to 500F. Place cast iron pot with lid into oven so it gets really hot. This is a very import step so the dough expands nicely when baking and you get a nice crisp crust. Once pot is hot, carefully transfer dough with parchment into the hot pot. Place lid back on and bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to

450F and remove lid. Bake for an additional 30 minutes until bread is dark golden and crisp. Remove from oven and let rest to slightly cool.

SERVINGS Makes 1 Loaf | PREP & COOK TIME 2 hours 15 minutes

Copyright © 2016 Irene Matys.

All Rights Reserved.

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