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Olive Garlic Halloumi Spelt Bread – Eliopsomi

Olive Bread

Although I’m someone who loves experimenting with recipes, I tend to stick to the tried and tested when it comes to bread. However, when the travel company Expedia challenged me to make a Cypriot dish for World on a Plate, olive bread was the first thing I thought of.

Cyprus is one of those places I have been itching to go to for many many years. I still haven’t made it. One of my friends was at art college there and raved about the wonders of the Island. It’s known for its good climate, soil fertility and mouth watering food. High quality wheat, olives, almonds, grapes, lemons and potatoes are all grown there along with an abundance of other vegetables and fruit – sounds like my kind of place. Olive bread, called eliopsomi, is common fare. It may also contain fresh or dried herbs, onions, lemon zest, cheese or, as in my case, garlic.

I took inspiration for the recipe from The Olive and the Caper: adventures in Greek Cooking by Susanna Hoffman. I found the recipe for olive garlic bread all over the internet, but sadly, rarely accredited to the author. As well as adapting the recipe to make it suitable for metric measurements, I decided to use wholemeal spelt as the main flour. I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, spelt not only adds additional fibre and a nutty flavour, but is easier on the digestion than modern wheat flours.

Olive Bread & Turlu

Halloumi originates from Cyprus, so I felt I couldn’t really do a recipe that didn’t contain that much loved vegetarian cheese. Halloumi sandwiches are very common there and although they sound absolutely my kind of food, I wanted the bread to accompany another Cypriot dish, turlu, a spiced vegetable stew. With this in mind I decided to add Cypriot halloumi to the bread so we’d be getting some protein in our meal. Of course for a dairy free or vegan version, this can be left out.

Both the bread and stew were delicious and worked brilliantly together to create a very satisfying meal. The bread turned out perfectly, with a good chewy texture and a rich flavour. The next day, I had it toasted for lunch, simply spread with butter – it didn’t need anything else. The day after that, I did exactly the same. No matter that the rain was lashing and the wind was howling, I felt I’d captured a little piece of Cyprus. Now, where’s my plane ticket?

Olive Garlic Halloumi Spelt Bread - Eliopsomi
Yields 1
A beautifully textured bread with a full on olive and garlic flavour with added depth from the halloumi. Great for mopping up sauce from the plate and delicious toasted.
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 300ml warm water
  2. 1 scant tbsp dried yeast
  3. 1/2 tsp sugar
  4. 300g wholemeal spelt flour
  5. 150g strong white flour
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 60ml olive oil
  8. 2 large cloves garlic - finely chopped
  9. 200g Cypriot pitted green olives - roughly chopped
  10. 100g Cypriot halloumi - grated
Instructions
  1. Whisk the sugar and yeast into the water, making sure it's warm, but not hot. Cover and leave for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. If kneading by hand, place flours and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and gradually add the yeast mixture together with the olive oil, stirring as you go until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Knead for a good ten minutes, adding the olives, garlic and cheese in near the end. Otherwise, throw everything into the bowl of an electric mixer and using the dough hook knead on a low setting for ten minutes.
  4. Place dough into a floured proving basket or bowl. Cover and leave to rise until nearly doubled in size.
  5. Turn out of the basket onto a baking tray and slash the top with a sharp knife two or three times.
  6. Bake at 220℃ for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200℃ and bake for another 25 minutes or until the bread looks baked and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Adapted from The Olive and the Caper by Susanna Hoffman
Adapted from The Olive and the Caper by Susanna Hoffman
Tin and Thyme https://tinandthyme.uk/
Other #WorldonaPlate recipes inspired by Cyprus
  • Cypriot kolokotes – pumpkin pasties – Happiness is Homemade
  • Simple fig jam – Fab Food 4 All

Disclosure. I was sent some ingredients and a shopping voucher in order to develop this recipe.

36 Comments

  1. Helen @ family-friends-food.com

    8th October 2015 at 11:53 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious! Olives, garlic & halloumi – it’s never going to be bad, is it?!
    I’ve never been to Cyprus, but having read your description, I’ve added it to my bucket list 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th October 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Helen. It must surely be hard to make that combination bad. Happily it worked brilliantly in this bread. I just had some more of it for lunch 🙂

      Reply
  2. Camilla

    8th October 2015 at 11:58 am

    Oh wow Choclette, love this bread and the perfect accompaniment to an autumn bowl of soup:-)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th October 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Yes, now autumn is upon us, it’s soups and stews all the way Camilla and this bread makes them seem even more appealing 🙂

      Reply
  3. Emily

    8th October 2015 at 12:08 pm

    What an interesting bread – I haven’t heard of it before. I love olive bread though so I’m sure I’d enjoy it xx

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th October 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Well it’s pretty much olive bread Emily. The garlic and/or cheese could easily be left out, but I rather like it as it is.

      Reply
  4. Prateek

    8th October 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Delicious recipe, interesting fact about Halloumi , it’s a protected Cypriot product in U.S but you get it in almost all middle eastern stores. Absolutely love Halloumi and will give it a try!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th October 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Prateek. I think it might be here too as all the packets have Cyprus mentioned on them.

      Reply
  5. Melissa

    8th October 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I love this idea and love homemade breads. It’s the perfect time of the year to try this one with a nice vegetable stew.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th October 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Melissa. I can definitely recommend this with a nice vegetable stew 😉

      Reply
  6. Rachel

    8th October 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I’d totally love this with a stew or some soup – it’s definitely that time of year now isn’t it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th October 2015 at 8:37 am

      Yes comfort food is in full swing now Rachel and as you say, this bread will go very nicely with much of it 🙂

      Reply
  7. Liz (Good Things)

    8th October 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I haven’t been to Cyprus yet, either… maybe one day. Love your bread… spelt flour seems quite $$$ here.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th October 2015 at 8:39 am

      You may not have made it to Cyprus Liz, but you did get to see some fabulous places this year. Spelt is pricy here too. It can be hard finding a balance between buying healthful foods and one’s purse.

      Reply
  8. Stuart Vettese

    9th October 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Never heard of this before, sounds a very tasty bread indeed.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2015 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Stuart. It really was and it made fantastic toast too.

      Reply
  9. Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade

    9th October 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Two of my favourite ingredients combined together – beautiful bread! Must have been delicious. x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2015 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Sylvia. Now I’m left guessing which are the two favourite ingredients 😉

      Reply
  10. Dom

    10th October 2015 at 12:10 pm

    what an absolutely brilliant combination of flavours in this beautiful bread! I’ve never been to cyprus before but I too would love to go… all that east meets west flavour… divine!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2015 at 10:27 am

      Thanks Dom. I’ve only heard people rave about the food in Cyprus, although I’m sure there’s more to the place than that 😉

      Reply
  11. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

    10th October 2015 at 9:22 pm

    You put a lot of the flavours that I like into this bread. I would love it.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2015 at 10:25 am

      It’s a bread to love Bintu and I was somewhat regretful when we finished off the last few slices the other day.

      Reply
  12. Nayna Kanabar

    11th October 2015 at 10:43 am

    I have never baked with spelt, maybe it’s time I did as your bread looks so lovely and has inspired me.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Definitely worth trying Nayna. Spelt is my favourite flour – it tastes good and is more nutritious too.

      Reply
  13. shobha

    12th October 2015 at 9:36 am

    Looks so delicious.. I haven’t tried anything with spelt flour.. wondering If I would find it here in the stores.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th October 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks Shobha. Spelt is a wonderful flour. If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, you could try health food shops.

      Reply
  14. Levan @ Crazy Vegan Kitchen

    12th October 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Nothing beats a good loaf of bread — especially in the mornings. This bread sounds so ‘exotic’, at least from where I’m from! Gotta give this one a try! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      13th October 2015 at 11:45 am

      Haha Levan, compared to my normal rye sourdough bread, this seems rather exotic to me too 😉

      Reply
  15. PREETHISCUISINE

    13th October 2015 at 3:25 am

    The Bread looks delish. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      13th October 2015 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Preethi, it really is delicious and I wish we still had some left.

      Reply
  16. Donna

    13th October 2015 at 4:00 am

    Oh wow, I would never have thought to add halloumi to the bread itself! I have to give this a go – I am totally in love with all things olive and halloumi and I absolutely love using spelt flour – so this is right up my alley!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      13th October 2015 at 11:50 am

      Excellent Donna, I’m with you on all of that. Hope you like it. Next time I shall use 100% wholemeal spelt, which I think would work just fine 🙂

      Reply
  17. Sundari

    13th October 2015 at 10:44 am

    Will b healthy and aromatic…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      13th October 2015 at 11:51 am

      And delicious too Sundari – really 🙂

      Reply
  18. Kavey

    17th October 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I have never much experimented with flavours of breads, which is silly since I love to eat them! This one looks really unusual and I’d love to try it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      17th October 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Kavey. All I can say is, it’s all gone now and I wish it wasn’t 😉

      Reply

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