Je t’embrasse Salutations from Silicon Valley, California

26Dec/100

Christopsomo (Greek Christmas Bread)

This recipe comes from my mother, via the "Sunset Cook Book of Breads" (1984).

Ready for Last Rise
Ingredients:
2 Tbps Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1/2 Cup Scalded & Cooled Milk
1 Cup Butter
4 Eggs, beaten
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons crushed Anise seed
1 teaspoon salt
7 Cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
Mix yeast with warm water & set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix together yeast mixture, milk, butter, eggs, salt, sugar, and anise thoroughly before adding flour. Gradually add flour one cup at a time mixing/massaging the flour in evenly.

Kneed the dough until the elasticity of it pushes back, and the dough is smooth. Roll into a ball in a large greased bowl, making sure to get the surface of the dough covered in the oil/grease. Set aside to rise (for the first time) in a warm/moist location. (Or if you are lazy like me, put it in an empty oven, with some almost-boiling water in a adjacent pan)

Ready to EatWhen the dough has doubled in size (1-2 hours) punch it down & divide it up into 2 even halves. Additionally cut off about 1 Cup worth of dough from each, and set aside (will be used later to decorate). Kneed each half into a smooth round, and place on a flat baking sheet. Shape the 1 Cup of dough into two equal-length ropes, cutting down each end of the ropes to create the traditional Greek cross shape. Finally, garnish the holes with walnuts or candied cherries, and wipe the top with an egg-white to add shine.

Once shaped, let rise again (the last time) until almost double in size. At this point, place in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes. (If you are me, and have risen the bread IN the oven, no worries, just turn on the oven to 350, and add 10 minutes for it to preheat WITH the bread already in there)

Alternatives:
You can make this same recipe into a single large loaf, but it is a bit unwieldy, and relatively hard to find a non-pizza pan for.

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