When I received the package from GreekFoodShop.com and saw two kinds of olives and sun-dried tomatoes, the first thing that came to my mind was to make lagana, which is the predecessor of focaccia and top it with these wonderful ingredients.
Tepes edible olives are produced in Gera, which is a beautiful and rich area, on the Island of Lesvos, with endless mountains of olive groves surrounded by the silver gulf waters of Gera. The olives take their name from Tepes Hill, where the olive groves, with very old olive trees are produced.
These olives are marinated with garlic, thyme, sea salt and olive oil. These olives have an amazing taste: they are not very salty, the garlic flavor is subtle and the herbs give them an irresistible taste you cannot stop eating them!! After using the quantity I needed, I pitted the remaining olives as well and to preserve them for a longer life, I put them in a glass jar which I filled with olive oil and added some rosemary as well. These can be eaten as they are, for a Greek traditional breakfast, added in salads, in pasta dishes, on pizzas, to make mezedes and the possibilities adding them in other recipes are endless. Not all members of my family share my love for olives so I had to make the second one using ingredients they eat.
I made it again a few days later and instead of making the second half of the dough into another lagana, I made it into small, rose shaped little breads (again for those who do not eat olives). Although I have taken step by step photos, I usually cook a lot of food simultaneously, so they are probably mixed up with other recipes. I only found this one and hope that it will help you shape them.
I divided the dough into smaller pieces, I brushed it with olive oil and added a leaf of fresh mint in the centre and on top of that a slice of halloumi and topped it with a sun-dried tomato. After folding the four corners, shaping it into a rose, I finished by brushing it again with olive oil and baked them in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C until golden. Imagine the flavour of mint and the salty halloumi paired with sweet sun-dried tomato on top! Delicious!
I have made this lagana at least 3 times this week. The last one had the same ingredients described in the recipe, except the onion but with the addition of 40 grams of feta. The hole in the middle was made by accident as the dough broke while I was pressing it with my fingers and since I liked the idea of a wreath-shaped bread, instead of patching it, I made the hole even bigger:)
Iliada sun-dried tomatoes are the best I have ever tried. They are preserved in olive oil with herbs and their succulent and sweet flesh makes everything taste better. I must say that these sun-dried tomatoes are love at «first taste» and you will be seeing them often in my recipes.
They can be served with salads, on pizzas, in sauces, in pasta dishes, in breads,to make spreads, cooked in many dishes, to accompany lamb or chicken and in so many other recipes.
Conclusion: if you use quality ingredients then you will make quality food. This simple lagana bread with Greek olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Greek extra virgin olive oil and rosemary proved it.
The flat-bread was crunchy outside and moist inside and super tasty. It can be eaten on its own as a snack, any time of the day. The first time I made it, we paired it with stewed snails saganaki, in a delicious sauce with fresh tomato and sun-dried tomatoes (recipe coming soon) and the bread was perfect to mop up the delicious sauce. GreekFoodShop were kind enough to send us two bottles of Greek wines. We accompanied it with Nico Lazaridi Queen of Hearts wine, which although I am not an expert, I think it paired wonderfully with all the mezedes I had made. We are saving the second bottle of Magic Mountain for a special occasion.
Lagana with Garlicky Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Rosemary, recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
700 grams all purpose flour
25 grams fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dried yeast (9 grams)
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Extra olive oil to brush the baking tin and the dough
1/2 cup Greek olives, TEPES from Lesvos, pitted
5 sundried tomatoes ILIADA, cut into smaller pieces
1 small red onion, sliced (optional)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp fleur du sel or coarse sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper
40 grams feta (a must in the recipe)
1 Frankfurt sausage
1 slice halloumi
1 sundried tomato
¼ cup olive oil for brushing
In a bowl add yeast, sugar and part of the water and mix until the yeast is dissolve. Add some flour and mix until it reaches the consistency of a thick batter. Cover with cling film and a napkin and set aside until it bubbles.
Attach the dough hook to your mixer and in the bowl add the remaining flour, olive oil, yeast, salt and mix. Gradually add the water and mix on low speed until the dough is ready and does not stick on your hands. (Add more water if necessary or if it is sticky add more flour).
Cover with cling film and a napkin and leave it to rise until it doubles in volume.
Preheat the oven to 200o C / 400o F.
Brush your baking tin with olive oil. Divide the dough into two equal parts and form each one into a ball. Pressing it with your hands or using a small rolling pin shape it into an oval flatbread.
Using your fingers poke the dough to make indents and then brush some olive oil on top.
Put the olives on top and press them with your fingers. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and onions, sprinkle some salt and pepper and set aside to rise again.
Place the baking tin the the middle of the oven, lower temperature to 180o C / 350o and bake until golden, for about 40 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
On another note, you all know the economic problems Greece is facing, so please show your solidarity by supporting us in any way you can. We are among the more privileged and although the crisis has hit all Greek families, we are still fortunate to still have delicious food in our plates. There are, however, a lot people who are less privileged, who are unemployed and cannot feed their families. A group of people have created Boroume.gr (which means «we can»), who are coordinating the distribution of surplus food (leftovers from restaurants, houses, hotels, other donations from companies, supermarkets etc.,) to people who need it. In order to be able to function they need funds for premises, electronic equipment etc, to pay bills like electricity, water, telephone, internet etc. Their only funds are the donations of people and voluntary work.
At the moment their site is only in Greek but they are still improving what they have recently started. They have opened bank accounts but also an account at Paypal for donations by friend of Greece.
Another way you can help to spread the word is to add a banner on your site which you can link to their paypal account. You will have to copy the banner from my site as I took the liberty to copy their logo and create this banner today for them. Efharistoume (thank you)!
Other relevant recipes:
Eliopsomo (olive bread) me Dendrolivano
Eliopsomo (olive bread)
Lagana Flatbread with Olives and Rosemary
Lagana and Focaccia style Lagana with Kalamata Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Whole Wheat Focaccia with Kalamata Olives
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,