Flavors of Greece: Greek-Style Bread with Feta and Kalamata Olives

Greek-Style Bread with Feta and Kalamata Olives - sliced

There are certain truths to be told, admissions if you will.

I don’t wash clothes or dry them, pick up dust-bunnies and other this and thats on the floor or carpet. I don’t beat the heck out of eggs whites to create meringues or when I’m “baking”, I don’t mix my own batters. Like this bread…I don’t know that is a fair statement to say I “made bread.”

Hold on now!    Before you click away and write me off as a person doing “something close to nothing” (great Prince line from Raspberry Beret), let me clarify.

I do laundry with the help of a work horse washer and dryer, vacuum with a trusty Dyson, beat the heck outta egg whites with either a hand held or stand mixer and I did bake this bread with a R2-D2 like bread machine. Every so often (more often than not), I am in wonder of how automated our lives are and I’m ever so grateful for my parents and grandparents and how much easier these chores are today than in their day.

Today I pulled out my neglected breadmaker that’s been all but forgotten during the year (maybe two). I felt like I was cheating my copy of The Baker’s Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart, I have sitting in a bookcase. I thumbed through an old Fleischmann cookbook and was eager to crank up the machine. After measuring and layering all the ingredients in breadmaker machine fashion, I turned it on and about jumped out of my socks! I forgot the noises it makes.  The newer addition to our family (Cody the Corgi), started barking and growling from outside as the machine thrashed and thumped.

Our first bread machine was a generous gift from my mother-in-law. I was beside myself…loved that bread machine – it was the Easy-Bake oven I always wanted as a kid, but never had.   Many years later, and after much use, the machine was upgraded to a 2-pounder loaf capacity.    After making bread today and enjoying the aroma of bread baking whilst I go about doing other things, I’ve made room on the counter for it again.

I served this bread with pasta and a small dish of olive oil on the side for dipping.  Great texture and appreciated the saltiness of using Kalamata Olives instead of regular black olives.   Considering 3 ounces of feta cheese was used, I could smell it, but couldn’t taste it like I thought I would.     It smells amazing when baking and it’s something I’ll definitely be making many times again.

Teenie Notes

  • The recipe calls for 1/4 cup olives. I increased it to 1/2 cup. Next time I would add even more, maybe 3/4 cup.
  • Instead of using plain black olives, make it more interesting by using Kalamata Olives that’s been packed in vinegar brine and olive oil.    Drain the liquid it was packed in and rinse off the measured portion. Pat dry to absorb the water and then chop up for the bread.
  • Regular Active Yeast works fine in breadmakers. From my past experiences, you don’t need to have special “bread maker” yeast.
  • This would make a fantastic sandwich bread! Update 9/16/2010: I used this bread to make oven toasted grilled cheese sandwiches with heirloom tomatoes and avocado… good stuff!
  • At the end of the directions, I’m including additional notes about bread maker dough consistency.
  • Ivy from Kopiaste..to Greek Hospitality suggested adding rosemary to the bread.  I love this idea!  Will definitely do that when I make it again.  Thanks Ivy! :)
Greek-Style Bread with Feta and Kalamata Olives
source modified from Bread Machine Favorites by Fleischmann’s Yeast

Makes a 1 1/2 -Pound Loaf

Ingredients

3/4 cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, drained, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active yeast

Directions

Greek-Style Bread with Feta and Kalamata Olives - dough
Add ingredients to bread machine in order suggested by the manufacturer. Add the cheese and olives with the flour. The feta cheese may vary in moisture content. Adjust dough consistency if dough is too dry, stiff, or soft.

Recommended cycle: Basic/white bread cycle; medium/normal color settings.

Store bread in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes about bread machine dough consistency:

  • Bread machine dough is a little more stickier than hand kneaded dough.
  • After the dough has been mixing in the machine a couple of minutes, the dough should start to look smooth and gather around the mixing blade.
  • If the dough looks dry or stiff: add more liquid in 1-teaspoon increments until it’s the right consistency.
  • If the dough looks too soft: add more bread flour in 1-teaspoon increments until it’s the right consistency.
  • Do not add more than 3 to 4 tablespoons of liquid OR flour.

Greek-Style Bread with Feta and Kalamata Olives - loaf

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  1. Carol says

    I’m very late to this party, but the bread sounds wonderful and I think I’ll give it a try today.

    Just wondering if garlic might be a good addition, and if si, how much and in what form?

    • says

      Hi Carol: Apologies for the delayed response…I haven’t tried the bread with garlic but I bet it would be fantastic and smell incredible. If I were to add garlic, I’d probably mince it and start with trying several cloves. I’ll have to give it a try the next I make this bread.

  2. says

    I love delicious, no matter which country the food, as long as delicious, I will try to do it.I read your method of making bread, ignited my passion for cooking.Although I do not love to eat bread, but my girlfriend love to eat bread, I want to do this to her, she will be very happy.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Victoria says

    I just bought an American Harvest Bread Mach. in a thrift store. I am going to try this recipe, because I was on
    a mini-cruise and they served olive bread one night. The feta sounds like it would be even moore delicious.
    Two question though: is it necessary to use bread flour instead of regular flour and can you substitute whole wheat flour? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Victoria! How fun to have a bread machine for the holidays!

      I haven’t tried making the bread using regular all-purpose flour. I know the wheat flour will give it a denser texture. If you do try it, start out using half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour (half of each). It sounds like a great idea…but I can’t vouch for the outcome, as I haven’t tried it. Please let me know how it turns out if that’s what you try. :)

  4. says

    This bread looks so delicious and I can almost taste that salty feta and kalamata olives! My boyfriend makes bread in a bread machine about 2-3 times a week (he really loves bread) so I will have to pass this along to him. If I wanted to bake this in my oven, how do you think I should change the recipe?

  5. says

    I’ve never owned or tried a bread machine but I knead my dough in my trusty KitchenAid and do the rest by hand. I don’t think it’s cheating LOL I think it’s a sign of the times. Be gentle on yourself Cristina – I actually know someone who has a monster of a washer, is not particularly busy, but very often buys new clothes when she’s gone through the selection in her closet LOL Now that’s something else!

    Your loaf is gorgeous – feta and olives are music together :) Btw – don’t you think it strange that the more we push our work to machines, the less time we seem to have on our hands?!?!

  6. says

    Oh my gosh I love my old bread machine. I don’t feel as though it’s cheating by any means! Fresh bread as opposed to store bought outweighs the fact that a bread machine was used in my opinion! Love this bread recipe! As always fabulous photos. Have a great weekend.

  7. says

    What a wonderful surprise to see a Greek recipe. The bread sounds amazing and I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t made one in ages. Next time try adding some dried rosemary in it as well. You will be pleasantly surprised how well it matches.

  8. says

    Oh my! So wonderful with feta and olives. I have NEVER made bread with these ingredients and you have convinced me to give it a go! Thanks for such a flavorful bread recipe.

    PS – I’d gladly trade in my shoes and keep my bread machine :)

    Ciao,

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  9. says

    I love olives in bread…and with feta it’s even more incredible! I don’t have a bread machine so I’ll have to try making it the semi-old-fashioned way (with the help of a stand mixer).

  10. says

    Cristina, I am so excited about this recipe! I have worn out one bread machine and moved on to a second one over the years, because I make bread religiously in it. There’s just nothing like fresh homemade bread without any real effort on my part! So a delicious new bread machine recipe is right up my alley.

  11. says

    Cristina…sorry to read that you were deprived of the ‘Easy Bake Oven’, which was hands down my very favourite passtime toy. However, you do now have that Bread maker…which I don’t and often wondered if I should get one? First, maybe I should make bread the traditional way to see if it’s something I’d like to continue making.

    Your loaf looks wonderful…especially with some of my favourite ingredients ;O) More feta cheese for me too!

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

  12. says

    I too am one of those people who has a sadly neglected bread machine. It’s not that it doesn’t work or produce good enough results, i just feel that I can do just as good a job by hand, and besides, there’s something very calming about the kneading process.
    Younseem to have done the machine a good deal of justice at least