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Christmas Baking Recipes - Greek Sweet Bread

Christmas Baking Recipes- Greek Sweet Bread, Chrisopsomo bread or Christ's bread is a bread that is traditionally served in Greece during the festive season. This recipe is a very old traditional recipe from Greece and comes from a tine when it was popular for families to add their family initials, made from dough, to the top of the bread. This recipe however, has a cross on the top to mark the celebration of Christmas.

 

You can vary the garnishings on your bread and experiement with them. Popular garnishings include: cherries, dried fruits and nuts, which are usually placed on the center and ends of the cross on top of the bread.

Christmas baking recipes - Greek sweet bread ingredients:

100g sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 eggs
120ml warm water
1 tbs sugar (seperate from the 100g)
440g flour (leave 50g for the kneading)
2 tbs powdered milk mix
half tsp salt
2tsp crushed aniseed
90g butter
34g dried yeast

Christmas baking recipes - method

Start by adding 1 tbsp sugar with the yeast to a large mixing bowl and dissolve the ingredients in warm water. Add the 2 eggs and the butter by folding in to the other ingredients. Then beat the mixture together until it is a smooth consistency.

When the consistency is smooth, add the flour (leaving about 50g for kneading) and the 100g sugar, powdered milk, salt and aniseed and mix together.

Using a small amount of flour, lightly flour a clean work surface and place the dough on to it and knead for about 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Then with the remaining 50g flour, knead in to the dough until the dough has became less sticky. Add just a small amount of flour at a time as you knead it into the dough, you don't want to ruin the mixture by adding too much flour.

When you have finished kneading the dough, cover and place in a warm environment such as a warm room, cupboard or oven (switched off) and leave for about 90 minutes to allow the dough to rise.

Before putting the dough in to the oven to cook, take away 2 small balls of dough (about 2-3cm), cover them and put them to one side. Now, using a cooking brush, brush the dough with egg white and place on a lined baking tin. Roll the two small pieces of dough from before and use them to create a cross shape for the top of the bread. Then leave the dough once again to rise, this time for about 1 hour.

Bake the dough in the oven at about 350'c until the dough becomes golden brown, which usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes. Once the bread is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. The bread serves about 15.

For more christmas baking recipes see Greek Kourambiethes Cookies