This bread, called Elioti in Greek, is a Cypriot bread once served primarily at Lent, but is now made all year-round. It’s traditionally filled with onion (usually red), olives of any sort, and an herb, either cilantro, mint, or a combination. This savoury bread is softer than a typical hearth loaf, though it’s quite chewy. Serve it plain; toasted and drizzled with olive oil; or sliced for sandwiches (turkey, lettuce and tomato is a favourite). I like it lightly toasted with butter.
(Requires 16 to 18 hours proofing time.)
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour.
1 cup Unbleached organic all purpose flour.
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
All of the sponge
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast,
2 1/4 cups unbleached organic all purpose flour.
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup black olives, pitted and chopped.
1 red onion, peeled, minced, and lightly sautéed
Method: (Modified from a King Arthur’s recipe.)
Make the sponge the night before you want to bake the bread. Leave this at room temperature for 16-18 hours. Next day, the dough is made using all of the sponge, plus 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add in the onion which has been finely chopped and sautéed in some olive oil till it’s golden brown and well caramelised. Follow this with the chopped black olives. I used a Kitchen Aid to knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes, before briefly kneading and shaping the mixture into a ball by hand. Leave the dough in a well oiled container to proof for 30 minutes. After this time, fold the dough on a floured surface.
Proofing is between 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending upon the ambient temperature. During this time, I fold the dough three times at 20 minute intervals before dividing the dough into two loaves for the final shaping into a boule and proofing.
Bake the loaves for 20 to 25 minutes at 210˚C, until they’re golden brown. As usual, place a metal tray of boiling water inside the oven for steam at the start. There was a good amount of oven rise in my two loaves. Bake till the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 94˚C.
“Old bread is not hard. No bread, that is hard.”-Old Camp Cook