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Crown Cruise Vacations | September 27, 2020

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Recipe for delicious olive bread

Recipe for delicious olive bread
Jackie Sheckler Finch

Part of the pleasure of cruising is getting to try different foods and regional specialties. It is also a bonus when a ship’s chef shares recipes.

One of my favorites on a recent cruise aboard the Astoria was the delicious olive bread. The warm bread arrived at my dining table with olive oil to accompany it. In fact, that special ACAIA Olive Oil was on my dining room table the entire cruise. And I certainly looked forward to enjoying it.

The unusual name ACAIA is to honor the children in the family business, Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises. The olive oil name uses the initials of the children’s names: Alexia, Constantine, Auxios, Ivars and Alkeos – ACAIA.

Established in 2013, Hellenic Agricultural Enterprise grows its olives on Lesvos, Greece’s third largest island which has a long history of olive oil production dating back to prehistoric times.

With wide expanses of olive trees covering nearly 80 percent of its arable land, Lesvos has by far the largest number of olive trees per capita in the world. Because of the rocky terrain, most of the areas are accessible only by donkey or on foot and require harvesting of the olives by hand.

Kolovi olives are harvested in the late fall each year when they begin to ripen, just starting to turn black from green. The greener the olive when harvested, the higher the antioxidants, but the greater the bitterness. When olives turn black, the antioxidants decrease and the bitterness is reduced.

Harvesting the olives at just the right time is important as is quick processing. After harvesting, the olives are transported within hours to the olive mill. Since vehicles can’t cover the terrain, harvested olives are loaded in sacks onto donkeys or mules for transport to the mills. The olives are quickly cleaned and milled under strict controls and the oil is stored in stainless steel containers.

On my Astoria cruise, I bought a big bottle of the ACAIA Olive Oil in the ship’s gift shop, a real bargain at $9. When I get home, I’m going to fix the olive bread for a family dinner.

I know it won’t be quite the same experience as cruising the Sea of Cortez on the Astoria while we dine but it will be fun to share the new recipe and the ACAIA Olive Oil with my family.

                                                    Olive Bread

Yield: 4 medium loaves

Ingredients for bread dough:

2.2 pounds flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 package active dry yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

½ cup ACAIA Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 ½ cups warm water

1 cup black olives, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

Ingredients for olive filling:

½ cup black olives, chopped

4 spring onions, chopped

7 fresh mint leaves

4 tablespoons ACAIA Olive Oil

Preparation:

To prepare dough, sift flour into large bowl and add salt. In another small bowl, dilute dry yeast and sugar with half of water, add in the ACAIA Olive Oil. Add liquid mixture to the flour mixture.

Add chopped black olives. Stir all ingredients gently, gradually adding rest of water. Knead well until dough pulls easily away from sides of bowl. Cover and let sit for an hour, until almost doubled in size

To prepare filling, mix all ingredients in small bowl.

One the dough in doubled in size, separate it into four equal round-shaped pieces.

Place one quarter of the filling in the center of each piece of dough, sprinkle with oregano and fold dough over filling to form a loaf.

Place all loaves on greased pans, with the fold of each facing downward. Let rise for an hour. Baste with ACAIA Olive Oil. Use a sharp knife to score the bread five times to ease the baking procedure. Bake for half an hour at 350 degrees.

For more information about ACAIA Olive Oil: Visit www.hae-gr.com