V chose h cIThings have been silent here for a bit. Let me assure you all that I haven’t stopped blogging yet. I’ve been busy with a lot of things since the New Year began. A couple of longish trips, visits from a couple of friends, some vacation time with my sister, a wedding in the family, etc. I’m back, though. This month’s host picked Greek Village or Horiatiko Psomi for us Bread Baking Babes to make. Horiatiko Psomi is a Greek village style yeasted rustic loaf topped with sesame seeds. It is a dense and crusty loaf, slightly yellow in colour from the semolina in it.
Greek Village Bread is typically made with a mix of bread flour and semolina flour. The dough has a little butter and milk so it has a soft texture. Otherwise, it uses pantry staples like flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar. In villages around Greece, Horiatiko Psomi is baked in outdoor wood-burning ovens. This bread tastes good dipped in olive oil or served with feta cheese, olives and sliced tomato. It is a good bread to serve with hearty soups as well.
This recipe is adapted from Lucy Parissi’s Supergolden Bakes. Please see her website for the original recipe. I made some changes in ingredients and quantities to adjust for a smaller loaf and available ingredients. I baked my loaf in a Dutch Oven. You can bake the dough on a baking stone covered with a large steel bowl. Covering and baking dough makes for a more moist bread with a good crust.
The semolina I get here, fie or otherwise tends to be light cream in colour rather than yellow. I used fine cornmeal instead of semolina for a yellow coloured loaf. I also replaced the butter with oil, because I didn’t have the time to soften my butter to room temperature or cool it after melting! I’m sometimes like that when baking bread.
Greek Village Bread
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/2 cup fine semolina/ cornmeal
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/8 + 1/16 cup unflavoured oil
- 2 tsp olive oil for the bowl
- Some milk or cream for brushing dough
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- You can knead by hand or use a kneading machine. Put the flour, fine semolina, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Add the milk, oil (or butter if you choose) and as much of the water as is required. Mix together and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl.
- Cover loosely and let the dough rise till almost double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on ambient temperature. Deflate the risen dough and turn out onto a worktop lightly dusted with a little flour.
- Shape the bread into a ball. Spread the dough out to make a rectangular shape. Fold one end in and then the other end over it like a letter. Flip over and use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Cup in your hands and place in a bowl or a prepped banneton. Let the dough rise again, loosely covered, for about an hour or so.
- Preheat your oven to 230 C (450 F). Gently invert the bread onto a dough sling or piece of baking parchment. Brush with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Lightly press with your fingers to ensure they stick.
- Slice the top of the loaf with a cross shape, using a sharp blade or lame. Lower the loaf into the Dutch Oven, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 220C (425 F). Bake without the lid for another 15-20 minutes till the bread is done and a beautiful golden brown.
- Lift the bread out of the pot and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
The Bread Baking Babes are –