This bread is based on a wonderful shrimp dish my wife makes. It looks something like what is pictured below. (I shamelessly borrowed the image from the internet without asking, so shhh, don’t tell).
I am not brave enough to put shrimp into a bread recipe… but olives, feta, and mint? Done!
Truth in advertising… I have no idea how much mint, feta and olives I put in this recipe. Like most things I do, the recipe was kind of thrown together with available parts.
I may or may not have been drinking wine. Which means, I may or may not have eaten a large number of the olives during the first rise. I mean, let’s be real here. These are uncertain times. You are going to have to take a leap of faith and just throw some ingredients in without measuring. Usually, it comes out fine in the end.
If it doesn’t… drink more wine.
Olive Feta Mint Bread
- 2 scant tablespoons (or 2 ¼-ounce packages) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water about 110 degrees
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup fresh mint cut in dime-sized bits *
- 5½-6½ cups unbleached flour
- 7 ounces Kalamata olives *
- 8 ounces feta cheese *
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add sugar, yogurt, oil, salt, mint, and 2 cups flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. With the heel of your hand, flatten the dough to a 15-inch square. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and strategically place olives for maximum flavor dispersal (I put that just to see if you were still with me). Roll up the dough, pinch the seam, cut the roll in half (to create two loaf-sized pieces), pinch the ends, and place into well-greased loaf pans. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Before you put the dough in the oven, cut the top in fancy patterns to impress friends and loved ones. Brush the top of each loaf with olive oil if you want a nice soft and chewy crust. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a rack.