Back home we have this restaurant called Olga’s Kitchen. It’s nothing fancy, but it was located in our town’s main shopping mall, which means I spent a fair amount of time there in my youth.
The main draw of Olga’s Kitchen is their “Olga Bread.” Olga Bread is an extremely soft, pliable, slightly sweet, pocketless flatbread. They serve their gyros, shawarma, and even ham and cheese enveloped in this warm, fluffy stuff, but my favorite way to eat it was always just straight up.
While I was waxing nostalgic to one of my aunts about Olgas, she mentioned to me that she had a recipe for the famed bread and would be happy to share it with me. Skeptical as I am about pretty much all recipes, I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong… and she didn’t. The result was pretty darn close to the real thing.
I used butter in place of the margarine called for in the recipe, since I don’t own margarine and reading a recipe before I make it is way too much work. The butter gave the bread a more buttery flavor, but I think using margarine would have extended their shelf life as these were a bit stiff by day two. That being said, a few minutes in a preheated oven made them good as new, but if you want to give the recipe a shot with margarine be my guest.
I used our Olga breads to hold our chicken wraps, and then it masqueraded as a naan-replacement to dip into a saucy dinner the next night.
I haven’t been there in years, but Olga’s Kitchen is still around (I looked it up) and is apparently only located in Ohio & Michigan, which means making this recipe is about as close as you are likely to get to the real thing.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 - 115F degrees)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 cups flour, divided
- Heat milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add honey and butter and pour into a large bowl to cool.
- In a small bowl stir sugar into warm water and add yeas packet. Set aside to bloom, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup flour to milk mixture and stir well.
- Add egg and yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine.
- Add additional 1 cup flour and stir to combine. Continue adding flour, 1/4 or 1/2 cup at a time, until sticky dough is formed, don't worry if you don't use all of the flour.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes until it forms a smooth and cohesive ball. The dough will still be quite loose and sticky, this is how you want it to be, DO NOT add more flour.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of neutral vegetable oil into a large bowl and place dough into bowl. Toss once to coat and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When ready to form dough, punch dough down and divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin circle, about 8 inches in diameter. I found this was easiest to do by covering the top of the dough with plastic wrap while rolling, which prevented the sticky dough from attaching itself to my rolling pin. Then, I layered each round between plastic wrap to keep from sticking together.
- When ready to cook, heat a 10-inch dry skillet (or griddle pan) over medium-high heat.
- Drop dough onto pan and cook for about 20-.30 seconds per side. The first side will be well-browned and the second side will be more splotchy. Transfer to towel-lined plate to keep warm while cooking the rest.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature. After the first day, bread is best served reheated in the oven or on a skillet to restore its soft, pliable texture. After the second day, any unused bread can be frozen in an freezer-safe bag and reheated for later use.
*I used butter in place of margarine which gave the bread a more buttery flavor, but I think using margarine would have extended their shelf life as these were a bit stiff by day two. This is easily remedied by reheating the olga bread to restore pliability.
*I made this by hand, using a spatula and a bowl, because I was too lazy to take out my mixer. You could definitely cut down on prep time by using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or dough hook, if desired.