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Recipe for Greek Country Bread

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Traditional bread over burlap, above viewTraditional Greek bread that is produced in the villages often has a rustic appearance, thanks to the variety of grains available. This bread gets its rustic appearance from the whole wheat flour that is used. However, you can substitute that for barley if you prefer. Both grains are available throughout Greece.

Greek Country Bread Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 cup olive oil, plus extra for the baking sheets
  • Extra all-purpose  flour for your hands and the work surface

Directions:

Add the yeast, sugar, 1/4 cup of the whole wheat flour, and the water to a small bowl and mix together well using a whisk. Leave the mixture uncovered and set it aside in a warm place until it has a spongy appearance. You can let the mixture sit for up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how sour you want the dough to taste.

Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and the rest of the whole wheat flour to a large bowl and whisk well with a clean, dry whisk. Pour the yeast mixture on top of the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon. When the dough starts to come together, add all-purpose flour to your work surface and your hands and pour the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, continuing to add small amounts of all-purpose flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

Wipe the large bowl clean and coat it with oil. Place the dough in the center of the pan and massage the top of the dough with oil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a large, clean towel and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. This should take up to 2 1/2 hours, but it all depends on how warm the environment is.

Punch down the dough after it rises and lightly flour the work surface once again. Knead for about 2 minutes, or until the dough is elastic. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Form the dough into a round loaf shape and place on the baking sheet. Massage the top of the loaf with more olive oil. Set the baking sheet aside until the loaf doubles in size.

When the loaf is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the top of the loaf with water and then place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush it again with water. Place the loaf back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes. You’ll know the loaf is done because when you knock on it with your knuckles, it will sound hollow. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on the counter for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.

If you’re looking for the “city” Greek bread, which only uses all-purpose flour, click here.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com