Dr Doughlittle | Dough mixture

The dough mixture prepared night before.

Dr Doughlittle | Elioti Bread

Elioti. The Greek black olive and red onion bread.

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.

Dr Doughlittle | Starter for Elioti bread

The Sponge or starter before proofing.

​Ingredients:
Sponge
​(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

Dr Doughlittle | Sauteed Onions

Chopped red onions sautéed in olive oil.

Dr Doughlittle | Pitted Olives

Chopped black pitted olives.

Dough
All of the sponge
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon yeast,
2 1/4 cups unbleached organic all purpose flour.
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup black olives, pitted and chopped.
1 red onion, peeled, minced, and lightly sautéed 

Dr Doughlittle | Dough for Elioti

The dough mixed with chopped olives and onions.

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.

Dr Doughlittle | Greek Olive and Onion Bread

Two shaped loaves proofing for just over 1/2 hour. It should almost double in size then. If not, don’t worry, it will still rise in the oven when heated.

Dr Doughlittle | Elioti Bread

Just before placing the loaves in the oven, make some slashes across the top of each, and spritz them lightly with water. ​ I use a serrated bread knife to do this.

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.

Dr. Doughlittle | Elioti Bread

Remove the loaves from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. ​

“Old bread is not hard.  No bread, that is hard.”-Old Camp Cook

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