Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christopsomos - Greek Celebration Bread

Seeing all the gorgeous delicious breads people have been making from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, I knew I had to steal the book from my mom! Well not steal, just borrow for an indefinite amount of time. The first loaf I wanted to try was the Christopsomos Greek celebration bread. I love the shape! It's so fun. Mine didn't turn out quite as defined though.

Looking back at the photos, it looks like such a huge monster of a bread! And it was. Not that there's anything wrong with that because it was fun to make and really delicious and soft. I love all the spices and flavours - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves (my favourite!), orange extract and almond extract. There are also some raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts thrown in there too. The flavours are similar to the pecan fruit rye bread I made before and loved.

I think I let my final shaped dough rise too long so it became a bit too big. And I'm wondering if that's what also caused what looks like tearing in the dough? Hmm. The only other bread I've tried out of this book so far are the bagels. I feel like I'm really developing a love for bread making! (As long as I have my Kitchenaid and don't have to knead by hand - I haven't learned to love that yet.) Anyone have recommendations for good bread books?

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Golden Cinnamon Loaf
Oatmeal Knots
Garlic Rolls

Christopsomos - Greek Celebration Bread
Adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

1 cup (7 oz) poolish (Recipe follows)
3 1/2 cups (16 oz) unbleached bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 large (3.3 oz) eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup (2.67 oz) honey
1/4 cup (2 oz) olive oil
3/4 cup (6 oz) 1% milk, lukewarm (90F-100F)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp sesame seeds

1. Remove the measured amount of poolish from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough. (The poolish should be made the day before.)

2. Stir together the flour, salt, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the poolish, the extracts, eggs, honey, oil and milk. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the dough forms a ball.

3. Mix on medium speed with the dough hook. Add more milk or flour as needed to form the dough into a soft, but not sticky, ball. It should be tacky and very supple. Mix for approximately 10 minutes. In the last 2 minutes of mixing, add the raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts. The dough should pass the windowpane test.

4. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment the dough at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until it doubles in size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 pieces, one piece twice as big as the other. Shape the larger piece into a boule. Transfer it to a sheet pan that has been lined with baking parchment or a Silpat mat. Mist the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place the smaller piece of dough into a plastic bag and chill in the refrigerator.

6. Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough nearly doubles in size.

6a. When the boule is ready to bake, remove the smaller piece from the refrigerator, divide it in half, and roll each half into a 10 inch long strand. Cross the 2 strands of dough over the top of the boule. Using a pastry scraper, split the ends of each strand and coil them to form a decorative cross.

7. Preheat the oven to 350F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

8. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and registers 190F. (If you're like me and don't have a thermometer, take it out when it is golden brown.) It should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Glaze the loaf a soon as it comes out of the oven.

9. To make the glaze, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the honey and extract and turn off the heat. Reheat the glaze, if necessary, before applying it to the bread. Brush the loaves with the glaze and immediately sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds.

10. Transfer the bread to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.


Note: This makes about 11.5 oz and you only need 7 oz for the recipe.

1 1/4 cups (11.13 oz) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) water, at room temperature
1/4 tsp instant yeast

Stir together the flour, water and yeast in a mixing bowl until all of the flour is hydrated. The dough should be soft and sticky and look like very thick pancake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or until the sponge becomes bubbly and foamy. Immediately refrigerate it. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Hannah said...

Now that's an impressive loaf! I love how it's totally loaded with goodies like spices, fruits, and nuts; definitely sounds like it was made for a celebration alright!

Ivy said...

First time here. I saw your post of Food Blogs and being Greek I wanted to see your bread, which looks great. It's a little different to the original recipe as we add wine in it but still I am sure it tasted great. BTW the right name is Christopsomo without the "s" at the end.

Grace said...

i feel like the orange extract in the glaze would reel me in like nothing else. great loaf!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a beautiful loaf! I love how shiny the glaze makes it. That combination of spices must smell heavenly while it's baking!

Helene said...

I enjoy making this one. Yours is looking delicious.

veggievixen said...

omg! it's so golden and delicious-looking and beautiful!! said...

That loaf looks so crusty and wonderful.

Steph said...

Ashley, your bread looks perfect! I love the colour. You did such a great job with the shaping.

Johanna said...

fantastic flavours!

am interested to hear your mum is a bread baker - or am I presuming too much from her cookbooks!

I can't recommend books but I find great inspiration for breads in the weekly yeast spotting round up at Susan's Wild Yeast Blog

Bellini Valli said...

I need to have this book too:D

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!