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Video: How Crete's dakos bread caught attention of Ottolenghi and retailers

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flour Bread

BakeryandSnacks readers could be forgiven for not knowing what dakos is.

Although still relatively unknown outside its homeland of Crete, it is catching the attention of retailers and consumers, in no small part thanks to supplier Olive Branch and celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi.

BakeryandSnacks met up with My Olive Branch co-founder Kamil Shah at the Farm Shop & Deli Show – part of the Food & Drink Expo - in Birmingham, UK, last week to learn more about the product.

Dehydrating process

Made from rye and wholemeal flour, dakos is produced through a dehydrating baking process – almost like airdrying, said Shah -  that results in a crisp, long-life product.

When ready to be consumed, it is rehydrated with a dressing and topped with tomato salad that softens the bread while leaving the crust crunchy.

British celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi – author of cookery books including Plenty, Plenty More and Jerusalem – became aware of the bread a few years ago when he was filming a TV series in Crete.

He had the chance to taste dakos while there and he fell in love with it – he talks about his summer fling with dakos​,” said Shah, adding that Ottolenghi decided he wanted to showcase the bread in his cooking and sell it on his own website.

Hard-to-find ingredients

Ottolenghi’s office got in touch with My Olive Branch, which has its roots in Crete and owns an olive grove on the island, and asked the business to source dakos for him.

This led to us having the product we now sell into the UK​,” said Shah. “He featured dakos in his book Plenty More and also sells our dakos in a Plenty More hamper featuring hard-to-find ingredients from the book​.”

Such publicity has helped drive demand for the bread.

We sell primarily to farm shops and delis​,” added Shah. “Many that stock it are those with a combination of a retail and a café operation - they prepare the dakos in the café and sell it off the back of letting their customers taste it."

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