Thursday, March 25, 2010
Christopsomo-Greek Easter Bread
This is a huge bread, which almost makes me feel better about the four eggs and entire cup of butter it contains. Fennel, butter, sugar...I think you know how my kitchen smells right now.
I used bread flour rather than AP flour as I wanted a less cake-like texture. You may use either.
Adapted from Sunset Breads Step by Step
You Will Need:
4 1/2 teaspoons granulated yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup melted butter, cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons anise seeds (you can crush them if you like)
1 teaspoon salt
(about) 7 cups bread or AP flour
9 dried apricots
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until foamy. Add the cooled milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, fennel and flour, a cup at a time until you have a dough that is no longer too sticky to knead. Work until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl, turn once and cover. Let rise until doubled-about 2 hours.
Punch dough down. Pull off 2 blobs of dough about 3 inches in diameter. Shape remaining dough into a ball and flatten to a 10 inch round. Place on a buttered baking sheet.
Roll each ball into a 15 inch rope and at each end of each rope, cut the bottom about 5 inches up into two pieces. Place atop the bread being careful not to press the decoration into the dough. Arrange in a cross and curl the ends around an apricot. Brush with the egg wash and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake about 45 minutes or until deeply golden. Cool on rack.