A Bridal Bread ( Traditional Greek recipe)

1,389
13
Joined Jul 24, 2001
I have been following your discussions in this forum because I love making bread but I did not dare to participate because all of you are very skilful in bread making.
I am posting this recipe because it is traditional Greek and maybe you will find it interesting!

On Saturday my best friend, Irene is getting married and according to Greek tradition, we have to make the Bridal Bread.
In the old days, they made this bread instead of a wedding cake. In our days Greece is Americanized also and they prefer huge, white wedding cakes…(no offense panini!!)
I always use a starter instead of yeast and according to our tradition, since the wedding will take place on Saturday, on Thursday I have to prepare the starter and on Friday to prepare the bread.
My grandmother used to say that from the starter you can predict the gender of the first baby!!!

Ingredients

3 kilos of wheat flour
Starter made of the 1/3 of the flour
500 gr sugar
600 ml olive oil extra virgin
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 glass of wine of ouzo (the famous Greek liqueur)
2 tbs of cinnamon
2 tbs of salt
Some sugarplums and coarse sugar for decoration.

Make the starter with 1/3 of the flour, that means with I kilo of wheat flour. You have to leave it to rest for at least 10 hours I leave it for 24.
Place the rest of the flower in a large bowl and bring the olive oil to heat. The olive oil must be hot, almost boiling!!
Purr the hot olive oil in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. When it gets cold enough, grain this dough with your hands.
In a small hole in the middle of this “grained” dough , place the starter , the soda, the salt, the sugar, the vanilla and the ouzo.
In this very phase, you must add all the requited water for the kneading! You cannot use water afterwards.
At the beginning, the dough is very soft but as you work it it gets harder.
You need to knead it at least for I hour! Since I do not have big palms I need more time!!
I forgot to say! I always use my hands and not the food processor!
When your dough is ready add the cinnamon and work it a bit more!
The Bridal Breads suppose to resemble to a cake so I place them in a round pan !
Keep a small amount of the dough for the decoration!! You can make initials ir stars or birds not pumping hearts please!!!
Wet the surface of the bread and stick the white sugar plums.
Cover the bread with a woolen cloth for at least 8 hours
Preheat your oven in 200oC. After 20 min, low he heat to 140C
You will need 1 ½ hour to bake it!
As soon as you take it out of the oven sprinkle the coarse sugar!

Wish me luck!!

:)
 
38
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Joined Oct 11, 2001
Making Bread with olive oil and sugar is not an easy task!

You have courage or nerve!
I don't know which is your case but I wish you luck anyway and I am sure that you will make the best bread ever because you make this bread for your friend.

:)
 
347
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Dear Athenaeus:

Your recipe looks great!

I always use olive oil in my bread making but I never heat it. This is totally new to me.

I love the use of ouzo in baking. I always use it when I make orange bread.

Let us know how it is! I wish I were there!

:lips:
 
332
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Joined Jan 26, 2001
So .... ahem...

what is the gender of the first baby going to be?

(You didn't tell us how to do that part!!)

~~Shimmer~~
 
1,389
13
Joined Jul 24, 2001
:lol:

Shimmer, as a baker, I will tell you tommorow, BUT as an astrologer I already know ;)

Thank you all.
Baking with olive oil especially hot is very intiguing! Trust me on that!
 
332
10
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Well, I guess we'll see if the bread agrees.....

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

~~Shimmer~~
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
If the starter takes a mountain shape, then it's a boy.
if it takes the shape of a balloon , it's a girl!!

The problem is that astrology in my country is as ancient an art as bread making.

Of course, when Prolemaeus wrote his book of Astrology ( THE ultimate handbook on astrology) the bread makers were... bla bla bla bla bla bla

:rolleyes:
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
Very unusual recipe. I'd love to try it one day...

One hour of kneading? Really? I hope you have a heavy duty mixer.
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
I never use a mixer momoreg!
I always use my hands in kneading!
It makes you feel so good afterwards!

I know that the recipe sounds strange, but for a poor country that the Bread was the...main course you understand that they tried to make it as rich as they could.
According to History Greece was making the best bread and I think that it still does, don't take that as a provocation please, it's just an opinion.
We make better bread than the Germans that they are GOOD

I 'll tell you what! I will bring to Montreal the most wierd breads you will ever have!
Althought I would love and I would be honored to work on a bread with you guys!
That's why I offered to accomodate you all in my house in Santorini!
;)
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I will wait patiently to try your bread...:) .

What are some other breads that are unique to the area?
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
Athenaeus - when you make the starter with 1 kilo of flour, do you mix it with 1 kilo of water? Also what is meant by graining?
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
The Bridal Bread sounds wonderful!

It will be wonderful!

Has anyone heard of Wedding Cookie Cake from Sicily? They too were poor and instead of baking a single large cake, a village would make cookies and stack them high, like a cake.
I have never seen or read anything of this, just songs and stories.
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
Well Kyle, with water and flour I use the golden rule : I use the needed water so as to be smooth and elastic enough It less than a kilo for sure!
My grandmother used to say that the dough of the starter should stick on your hands and not stick the same time…
When I say "graining" I mean that the dough should look like coarse salt.

As for various breads there are around a hundred but I will just mention you some that I have made.
Bread with wild herbs of the mountains.
Bread with roasted quails (…) and fried tomato
Bread with leak
Bread with cabbage
And of course some simpler ones as ouzo bread , ginger bread, oregano bread etc etc.
Surprisingly although I am an olive oil producer, I have not made with success good olive bread. Maybe I don’t have the right recipe…

In Greece, momoreg we make also special breads for the new born babies!!
I have a recipe from Zakynthos (by the way form the island of Zakynthos comes Papa so he may know the recipe).
I have not made this one yet but I will do that next week because my other best fiend (I have two) will have her first baby and I cannot describe you my feelings, just the idea to hold the baby of a friend I know since nursery school… I will be the godmother!!

:bounce:

PS Yesterday I made four of the bridal breads. I baked them in the traditional oven with woods. I used wood from pine tree and olive tree to warm the oven. So, the bread takes a slight taste.
I think that they are alright...at least they look good

:)
 
1,389
13
Joined Jul 24, 2001
When I say sugarplums I mean those white, sugarcoated almonds .
In Greece we use them in weddings.
If you are unmarried and you take on of the blessed by the priest sygarplums and you put them under your pillow you suppose to dream of your husband to be...
:p
Thanks Kyle, I know the phrase in English now!!

:)
 
1,389
13
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Maybe I do Isa!! :lol:

I have seen the word sugarplum though...

Gipsies call them "velitzan-eh" ;)
 
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