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AROUND GREECE

Christmas Bread

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Ingredients

What you need:

  • 2 kg of strong flour
  • 2 cubes of fresh yeast or 4 sachets of dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 cups of shelled walnuts medium cut
  • 4 tbsp of aniseed
  • 100 g. of sesame seed
  • 2 sachets of pine seed
  • 1 level tbsp of powdered mastic
  • 1 tsp of powdered mahlab
  • 1 packet of margarine or butter
  • Almonds and walnuts unshelled for decoration

Method

  1. Boil the aniseed in 3 cups or water for 5 minutes
  2. Pile flour in a bowl and make a small well in the centre.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, mahlab, some cubes of butter, the mastic, and the tepid water with the aniseed
  4. Knead the mixture until you have a silky and elastic dough.
  5. Add the pine seed and – if necessary – some more water.
  6. Place the bread dough on to 2 buttered baking trays, saving a small quantity for decoration.
  7. Cover them and allow the dough to prove.
  8. Re-knead for a little more and place on the trays.
  9. Make strands of dough with the quantity saved earlier and place them in a cross-like pattern on the breads, adding the walnut in the centre.
  10. Decorate with almonds, spread with water and milk, dredge with sesame seed and bake in a preheated oven at 130˚C for over one hour.