Friday, August 22, 2008

Greek Bread

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This is a simple yet surprisingly delicious bread for everyday.

Greeks call it psomo, or mother's bread. Nothing fancy, but it translates easily from the breakfast table with jam, to a simple lunch with cheese and tomatoes, to a wine and cheese party.

The secrets to this bread are the sesame seeds and evaporated goat's milk. I'm Greek and these are natural flavors to me. You could sub regular (cow) evaporated milk but I strongly suggest seeking out the goat version. I buy mine at Whole Foods, but if you can't find it in your local store, here it is on Amazon. The goat's milk lends a more complex yet subtle flavor to the bread.
Dare I say, this bread would be an excellent pair with goat cheese and some fresh tomato. :-)

This is my first adventure sans bread machine- so far I've only made pizza dough without it. I'm excited because I'm actually more impressed with these results. More and more I'm thinking I don't want another machine! The crust turned out beautifully in the oven, thick and toasty.

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The crumb is a little dense but that's more to do with my kneading skills.

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My greatest critic, NH, gave it two thumbs up as he snarfed down three pieces. Score!

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Greek Bread

1/3 cup water
1 cup evaporated goat's milk
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon gluten
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons SAF yeast

Combine all ingredients in a food processor in the order given. Pulse to combine, then run the machine for about 30 seconds until the dough is incorporated. It should be quite sticky; if it's not add a teeny bit of water to moisten until it becomes the proper texture.

Dump out onto a floured work surface, and knead for a few minutes, forming a dough ball. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature or slightly warmer, for about 1 1/2 hours.

After the rise, remove the dough, giving it a little knead to shape into the desired form. Place on a baking sheet and score the top with an 'X'.

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Cover with a slightly damp cloth and allow to rise for another 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bread in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the crusty is toasty and browned. Monitor the bread as baking time might vary slightly. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing- cutting into it while it's still hot will result in a dry edge and poor slicing.

Store in a airtight freezer bag on the counter for 2-3 days, or in the refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for a good long while!

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3 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, the psomo loaf looks perfect!! Glad that NH approved!! :0)

Erica said...

This looks incredible! Gosh I <3 bread! The husbands approval is always nice to get :)

Sharon said...

Such a beautiful loaf! I've never cooked with evaporated goat's milk before so I'm eager to taste the difference.