In Greece, bread is served with both lunch and dinner, whether you eat in a tavern or are invited to someone’s home. The bread does not only provide an extra flavour, it’s great for soaking up sauces and olive oil.
Also, a good bread, some juicy olives, feta cheese and a well-chosen bottle of red wine make an excellent picnic.
In this recipe I use cold water and yogurt, and leave the dough to raise overnight in the refrigerator. (But you can also heat the liquids to roughly 40 degrees C, and bake the bread in the usual way.)
Use the flour you prefer, but a mix of plain wheat flour and semolina gives the bread quite a Greek flavour. If you want, replace semolina with sifted rye flour, for example. A sprinkling of sesame seeds on top is not entirely wrong.
- 1 package dry yeast
- 250 ml water (cold)
- 250 ml yogurt (cold)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- about 800 ml bread flour and 200 ml semolina
- + some more flour
Stir dry yeast into the water, yogurt and olive oil. Mix in honey and salt. Knead in enough flour to make a firm, smooth dough. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic or aluminium foil, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, remove the bowl and leave it in a warm place for an hour. Then divide the dough in half and form two loaves, work as little as possible with the dough. It’s okay that the loaves look really homemade.
Preheat the oven to 40 degrees C, and let the loaves rise in there until doubled in size, about an hour. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees C, and bake for about half an hour. You can check if the loaves are done by tapping them on the underside. A hollow sound means that the bread is ready to eat!