olga bread

olga bread 0185

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.

olga bread

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 16 rounds

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add honey and butter and pour into a large bowl to cool.
  2. In a small bowl stir sugar into warm water and add yeas packet. Set aside to bloom, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup flour to milk mixture and stir well.
  4. Add egg and yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. When ready to cook, heat a 10-inch dry skillet (or griddle pan) over medium-high heat.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Notes

*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.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/11/11/olga-bread/

fig and prosciutto flatbread

m4s0n501

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It’s Monday and I’ve got a treat for you.

It’s one of my favorites.

It combines creamy mascarpone cheese, sweet fig jam, salty prosciutto, and peppery arugula that satisfies any possible craving you could have all in one bite.

Usually I would make this as a crostini on sliced and toasted baguette. Unfortunately, it can become very tedious when you have to spread and layer ingredients onto a bajillion little pieces of bread.  So when I was planning Christmas Brunch, it occurred to me that I could save a lot of time if I just made one giant crostini… I briefly thought about slicing a baguette in half, toasting the halves and going from there, similar to my cheesy artichoke bread recipe.

Then, as I was scanning the fridge to find something for dinner, my eyes stopped on a package of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.  It came to me all at once, it was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out before: flatbread!

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Flatbread was the solution to my problem.  (How many people can say that?)

I could make one large flatbread and just cut it into a bunch of bite-size appetizers for people to snack on.  Just grill your pizza dough until it’s cooked through, add your toppings, slice and serve.  The result was the perfect super fast, super easy way to make my favorite appetizer.

Prosciutto Flatbread

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • 8 ounces prosciutto
  • 4 cups arugula

Divide your dough into two equal portions and roll into a ball, set on a lightly-floured surface and cover with a towel.  Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour prior to cooking.

Heat griddle or grill to high heat (or heat the oven to 500 degrees and put the rack on the lowest rung).  If you’re using the oven here, you’ll want to start pre-heating it at least 30 minutes early.

Shape your dough, I just stretched mine out into an oblong shape.  You can try for a circle or rectangle if it suits you, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it.  Sometimes I prick it with a fork to make it slightly less bubbly, but I’m not convinced that it makes a huge difference.

Grill your bread until poofed and browned on one side, then flip and cook the other side.  If you’re using the oven, it’s pretty much the same concept, you can leave it in there un-flipped just keep cooking until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked through.  You’ll have to do this twice, because there are two pieces of dough.  If you’re using the grill it only takes a few minutes per side, super easy!

Let it cool slightly, then when you can handle it comfortably, spread a layer of mascarpone on the flatbread (I find this is easier for some reason to do with the back of a spoon, maybe because the flatbread isn’t totally flat).  Then spread a layer of fig jam over the layer of mascarpone.  They’re going to mix together, it’ll be okay.  You’re halfway there.

Now you have two options, prosciutto and then arugula, or arugula and then prosciutto.  I prefer the latter, I find that putting the prosciutto on top helps to hold the arugula onto the flatbread.  If I put the arugula on top I end up chasing it around as it falls off of every bite I take.

Then, that’s it!  You’re done!  Slice it up and eat it.