Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bread Baker's Challenge #2 GREEK CELEBRATION BREAD

Today I am baking a GREEK CELEBRATION BREAD #2 from my BB Challenge. In his book, Peter Reinhart has a whole discussion about this bread being used for all Greek holidays. They add an colored egg for Easter in the middle of it, they add a golden coin for New Year Day in the name of St. Basil celebration. For Christmas, they use different dry fruits, red and green color.
Romania, (from were we are originally from) is very influenced by Greeks. My grandfather came from Greece to Romania, to study, he met my grandmother and he never went back. We have a "Celebration Bread" too, for all the holidays, breaded, with raisin and lokum (Turkish) or/and walnuts. I am very intrigue to see the result, because I was pretty sure that Romanian Celebration Bread is Italian Panettone, because I didn't know anything about Greek bread.

I start with a cup of POOLISH that I kep it refrigerated over night,

I added all the ingredients,flour,honey, salt, 2 eggs, beaten, lemon zest,

milk, yeast,oil. We are not used with all the spices from the book for this bread, I chose to use only vanilla and lemon zest.

I use first the paddle, low speed, 2-3 minutes, just to mix everything.

I change the paddle with the hooks and I used for 10 minutes at medium speed.
The dough become smooth, and was nicely, silky, not sticking to the the wall, and taking a shape.

After 2h rises I poor the dough on a flowered surface,

and divide in 3 parts; one big, the future bread, and 2 small, which we will use for decor. For now I will put in put in refrigerator, until the round brad will rise again, for 90 minutes.

After 90 minutes rise, on a parchment paper, brushed with egg wash, I start build the decor.

First, from the 2 small parts, I made a rope, put on top of the bread, cut the end of it and make curls

Egg wash the rope and the bread, and the celebration bread is ready to bake; 40 minutes, 350F

O my goodness! This is a wonderful, soft, not very sweet bread... The house is full of vanilla and lemon aroma, like would be when my mother bake and bake for days for Christmas or Easter...


I remember in Romania falls in  my childhood were full of apples, italian prunes, grapes and watermelons.... When Grapes were  avail...