The Roots of History … the Breaths – and Breads … of Life!

Dipyrus is the famous baked rusk from Epirus and Ioannina – AKA ‘Gianniotiko Paximadi (Rusk of Ioannina) and the BREADtree, or ‘ARTOdentro’ in Greek, is a family bakery business located at Despotiko, a village close to Ioannina, the capital city of the Region of Epirus.

Next to the ancient watermill of Geromitsaina, next to the gushing spring in an incredible natural setting, there is a building of that reflects Ioannina’s traditional architecture, and one wing functions as an interactive bread museum where they prepare the Gianniotiko Paximadi.

The heptazyme ‘kounenos’, the ‘gianniotiko dipyros,’ ‘the Greek Snack’ or the ‘Lazaros’ all use Gianniotiko Paximadi and are products of origin that are consumed immediately – but they are not mere ‘fast food.’ They are a nutritional proposition that comes directly from Homer!

Gianniotiko rusk is prepared according to the protocols of HACCP and ISO. They are kosher and halal, addressed to the modern citizens of the world.

It is also noted that Epirus has always been the place of origin of famous bakers. The family of Lazaros Tsekouras at Despotiko of Ioannina has a history or renowned bakers since 1885.

Executive Chef Andreas Georgoulis, who is from Epirus, offers this delightful recipe based on rusks:

Tart with Gianniotiko Paximadi (Rusks), Mutton Saganaki, Spicy Tomato, and Pindos Kashkaval Cheese in a Clay Pot

For the crust

250 grams Gianniotiko Paximadi (rusks)

7-8 tablespoons Greek olive oil

2-3 tablespoons water

A pinch of Greek dried oregano

For the filling

1 kilogram mutton or lamb (leg or shoulder), cut into cubes

1/2 cup olive oil PGI Preveza

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 fresh Preveza tomatoes, grated

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

2 medium onions grated

Salt, black pepper to taste

For serving:

200 grams Pindos Kashkaval cheese

1/2 teaspoon spicy boukovo (paprika) or 1 small hot pepper

Crush the rusks until they are crumbs, place them in a bowl, sprinkle with the water and olive oil. Add the oregano, salt to taste and set aside to soften. Then, knead them into dough. To help it become a uniform dough, we occasionally wet our hands with water.

Tip: Be careful when adding the water and oil since the rusk crumbs should be softened, but not like mud.

Transfer the softened rusk crumbs to the tart pan and pat down to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Boil the meat for about 7 minutes, strain it, and rinse it with cool water.

Fry the onion, cloves, cinnamon, and meat in olive oil in a saucepan for about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, and 2 cups water to cover the meat. Boil over medium heat for 45 minutes.

Then, transfer the meat to the traditional clay pot. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 3 hours.

When the meat is ready, place in the prepared tart pan, add the Pindos Kashkaval cheese and the boukovo, and bake for 10 minutes in the 350-degree oven.

Serve with a good quality Greek sheep’s milk yogurt.


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