I made this bread quite a while back, while in the grip of severe “baking bread from scratch” fever. That’s how these things get me – I start out all fired up, rather like a milk cooker which has lost its pressure valve and therefore can’t regulate the outlet of excitable steam and therefore bubbles over when the enthusiasm level heats up too much… and then the fire goes out.
Ideally, what I need is some sort of pressure valve that will let off the excess enthusiasm, or at least regulate the letting off of it so that it doesn't bubble over and extinguish itself...
How about that, I’ve just had an epiphany in front of everybody!
Anyway, I’m not really sure what makes this a Greek white bread, but that’s what the recipe said when it popped into my inbox, and that’s what I’m saying as well. Maybe it’s the olive oil? But the Italians and Spanish use olive oil too, so maybe not. Well, whatever. After all, What’s in a name? That which we call a bread by any other name would taste as sweet (sorry, Shakespeare) – or as nice, at any rate. This bread isn’t sweet, but it IS nice.
PS. The fire hasn’t actually gone out as regards baking bread by hand… but it has fizzled a little. I’m sure something will occur to turn the heat up again, and then just watch out! The bread will rise again.
Recipe for: Greek white bread
3-3/4 cups of strong bread flour
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 tsp dry yeast
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
water for brushing
1. Dissolve yeast in the warm water.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of flour, salt, oil, and yeast with water, and mix until thoroughly blended.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes in a warm, draught-free place till it's somewhat bubbly.
2. Add 1-1/2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and combine with hands to form a cohesive dough.
3. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead in as much of the remaining flour as needed until the dough is smooth, elastic and non-sticky.
4. Shape into a loaf
brush with water and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
5. Put the shaped loaf on a nonstick cookie sheet, and place on the middle rack in a cold oven for 15 minutes.
5. Turn on oven to 425°F (220°C) and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until golden. Let cool before slicing.