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Food

Greek Bread and Biscuits to Bake and Enjoy at Home

April 20, 2020

Baking bread is a therapeutic activity. Kneading the dough by hand, you feel calmer. Focused on the task at hand, you don’t worry about anything else, and somehow, you are connected in a profound way to your ancestors, and to all those who ever baked bread throughout the millennia.

The activity of making a yeast dough, kneading it, waiting for the dough to rise, forming the bread shape, baking it, teaches you patience. It takes time and you have to follow the recipes pretty carefully, but the results are worth the wait and the effort. The scent of fresh-baked bread filling the kitchen and the house brings back family memories. Try the following recipes to make some family baking memories of your own.

 

Bread with Zea Flour

5-6 cups zea flour

2 cups warm water (about 100-110 degrees F)

1 packet active dry yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Greek sea salt

Greek extra virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the yeast, warm water, 2 cups of the flour, and the honey, and set aside for about 5 minutes until the mixture appears foamy. Add 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Using the dough hook attachment of the mixer, knead until the dough forms and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 7 minutes, adding additional flour, if needed.

Lightly grease an ovenproof bowl with a little olive oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl, then turn over the dough to coat it lightly. Cover the bowl and the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in a warm place to rise. The switched off oven is an excellent spot for proofing the dough, just heat the oven to about 200 degrees and then switch it off, place the covered bowl with the dough inside and allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down to deflate it and cut it in half. Form two loaves, round or longer ovals, as you prefer, and place them on a baking sheet to rest for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. Slash the tops of the loaves diagonally with a sharp knife and place on the middle rack of the oven to bake for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees until the bread is golden brown and produces a hollow sound when you knock on it.

Once the bread cools completely it can be kept at room temperature for a few days. To store the bread longer, wrap tightly, and keep in the freezer, just heat the bread in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes to thaw out and serve.

 

Vegan Biscuits with Greek Olive Oil

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt

A pinch of sugar, optional

1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar, if using. Make a well in the center and add the olive oil and almond milk. Stir using a rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms. Drop by a generous tablespoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet to make about 9 biscuits. Bake in the preheated oven at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the biscuits crack and are golden brown at the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature with Greek honey, jam or jelly, of your choice.

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