Olive and Onion rolls in Orange-Olive Oil Pastry (Eliopita)

The original recipe was given to me many years ago, by Zoe Evangelou; the recipe was revised by Vali Manouelides, while later I came up with the idea to make bite-size eliopites, as by cutting the roll into thin slices the stuffing often falls off.

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See below my new variation  for rolls and pies  made with the yeasted  Yellow Spicy Bread Dough.

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Makes about 60 meze bites (more…)

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Yellow, Spicy Griddle Crackers

Based on my usual bread dough to which I substituted cornmeal for the barley, and added a lot more spices, especially turmeric and cumin, which give it a warm, earthy flavor and a vivid yellow color to make the Yellow Spicy Bread.

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For these irresistible, crispy crackers we shaped part of the dough into thin oval pita-like pieces and baked them on the saç! Our latest love affair with the hot-plate I brought from Istanbul inspired us to make other savory and sweet dishes pies, besides these crispy breads.

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The crackers can be easily baked on any griddle or skillet. Depending on the size of the one you will use, take smaller pieces of dough, and flatten them so that they can easily fit on your griddle or hot-plate.

Makes 16 large crackers

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Yellow, Spicy Bread

This is a bread with bold flavor, based on my usual dough to which I substituted cornmeal for the barley, and added a lot more spices, especially turmeric and cumin, which give it a warm, earthy flavor and a vivid yellow color.

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You can shape it into loaves, or you can use the dough to make olive-and-leek-stuffed rolls, or larger pies.

The irresistible, crispy crackers that we created baking thin oval pita-like pieces of dough on the saç our favorites! Our latest love affair with the hot-plate I brought from Istanbul inspired us to make these yellow crackers, as well as other savory and sweet dishes. The crispy breads can be easily baked on a griddle. Depending on the size of the one you can use take out pieces of dough and flatten then so that they fit on your hot-plate.

Yields 2-3 medium loaves, or laganes –focaccia-like breads

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Pompe a l’ Huile: Festive Bread from Provence

Part of the traditional Christmas table in Provence this delicious olive oil bread is supposed to be torn into pieces with the hands and never cut with a knife.

 

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Pompe a l’ Huile is served along with twelve more desserts on Christmas Eve on the festive tables all around the Mediterranean coast of France. The thirteen sweetmeats include various dried fruits –figs, different kinds of grapes, plums etc.—candied pears and apples, as well as oranges and other citrus fruits, cookies and nougat.

 

Makes THREE 12-inch flat breads (more…)

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Savory, Spicy Cookie Rings or Breadsticks: Ka’ak

“Ka’ak has the texture and crunch of a breadstick, but it is ring-shaped and has a crimped edge. A staple of the Aleppian pantry, ka’ak is usually offered to guests when Aleppian Jews serve coffee or tea,” writes Poopa Dweck. These, for me are the best bread-dough savory cookies; a little different and more fragrant than the very common Greek ones. 

I adapted Poopa Dweck’s recipe for the dough I make increasing  the amount of flour to 7 cups, as I work it in the KitchenAid. I also add whole wheat, not just all purpose flour; and of course I use olive oil instead of the ‘vegetable shortening’ the recipe suggests.

With the same, spicy and delicious dough, I make a pie-like stuffed bread with broccoli; you can also stuff the bread with a spanakopita-like mix of spinach, scallions, and herbs.

 

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I had no sesame the first time I made ka’ak so I substituted sunflower seeds. Both my husband and our friends who tried them couldn’t stop eating them, and they disappeared fast. For the second batch I used both sesame, as well as poppy seeds and ground walnuts, but also sunflower seeds again, which seemed to complement ideally the cookie’s flavor and crunch.

 

For about 64 cookies

 

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