Psomi

Psomi

Greek bread

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
2
Photographer
Alan Benson

This is the crusty, torpedo-shaped bread available at Greek and continental delicatessens. The moist atmosphere in the oven and spraying the bread with water produces a thick, crisp crust.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
900g plain flour
1 tablespoon active dried yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fine semolina
1 tablespoon olive oil
or 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a heatproof mixing bowl and warm it in a low oven.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 60 ml warm water. Stir in 440 ml warm water, the salt and sugar.
  3. Remove about 300 g flour from the bowl and set aside. Make a well in the remaining flour and pour in the yeast mixture.
  4. Stir in a little of the flour until the liquid is thick. Cover and leave in a warm place until frothy — about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir the rest of the flour into the liquid, gradually adding the oil or butter. Beat with a wooden spoon or by hand until smooth for 10 minutes, or in an electric mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  6. Gradually knead in the reserved flour; only knead in enough to stop the dough sticking. The dough is ready when it is satiny and the surface has a wrinkled texture. Shape into a ball.
  7. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, then turn it over so that the top is oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1–1½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. Punch down the dough and divide in half. Turn out onto a floured board and form each half into a torpedo-shaped loaf.
  9. Grease a baking tray and sprinkle it with the semolina. Place the loaves well apart on the baking tray and make four diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover them with a cloth and leave in a warm place until they have doubled in size — about 1 hour.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C.
  11. Place a dish of boiling water on the floor or the lowest shelf of the oven. Spray the bread lightly with water and bake for 35–40 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, spray the loaves again with water, then again 10 minutes later.
  12. Cool on a rack near an open window.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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