Not as difficult as it may appear. This decorative bread is made from the same dough as any other hard flour bread. The only difference is the use of a well – sharpened blade with which incisions are made everywhere and all around on the bread. Flowers, ears of wheat, a sun, a smile, geometric lines, initials of a name or whatever else your fantasy desires. The only tip before cutting is to cover the loaf with flour. Dusting the top of your loaves with flour prior to scoring will ensure maximum contrast between white flour and dark baked crust. Follow instructions and have fun!
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting *
- 2 tsp salt
- 7gr fast-action yeast
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 300ml water
*Strong flour, also commonly known as strong bread flour, is made from hard wheat varieties. It contains more gluten (12% to 14% gluten content),than other types of flour which gives it its elasticity and enables the dough to rise with a good structure.
- Heat oven to 220°C/ 428°F
- Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7gr of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the centre, then add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water. Mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water and again mix well.
- Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.
- Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough (punch the air out and pull the dough in on itself) then gently mould the dough into a ball.
- Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
- Dust the loaf with some extra flour
(Dusting the top of your loaves with flour prior to scoring will ensure maximum contrast between white flour and dark baked crust.)
With a sewing thread form a cross on the dough. Then on each fourth format, draw 2 other lines as in the gallery photos
With a sharp razor make small incisions on the sides of each line – from the top to bottom- so that it looks like an ear of wheat.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
Cyprus bread is more than food, is a religious expression.
Different types of bread are traditionally made for different occasions, weddings , easter , Christmas, communions, baptism.
Dr. Dorita Voskaridou is a researcher, author and founder of the Decorated Breads of Cyprus museum in Limassol.
Dorita’s book “To Ploumisto Psomi tis Kyprou” (The Decorated Bread of Cyprus) is a collection of historical and personal testimonies. Decorative breads for every occasion, based on various village designs have been re-worked by this talented lady.
“All the symbols came from the ancient times when people used to believe in 12 gods. There are symbols from ancient Greek pots. From excavations we then find the same symbols in bread.
There were Byzantine shapes and influences. Women in villages see icons of churches which inspire them to go home and make the bread. Every village has different kinds of symbols and every woman has a different, very personal style, for example one village may have the same symbol but each woman makes something different. Every woman has her own aesthetic.
Bread is the king of the house in Cyprus proverbs. It is very important still and is the main nutritional ingredient in our culture. In Cyprus’ popular traditions, bread on the table symbolised Jesus Christ himself. So nobody gets up from the table until the bread has been removed. The bread has to move first away from table,” says Dorita Voskaridou
I tried to reproduce one of these ancient and full of tradition shapes. I have no idea if it is a wedding, communion or easter bread. I choose it for the presence of the cross and the X of Xrist. (Χριστος in Greek language). So i think perfect for Xristmas.
Follow the instructions step by step. You will need 33 dough cords and a good amount of sesame seeds. Isn’t difficult as appears. Crunchy texture , delicate flavor. Enjoy a Merry Xristmas!
- 500 bread flour
- 250ml warm water
- 1/2 tablespoon dried yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl combine flour, olive oil, yeast and sugar. Add the water & salt. Mix well
- Knead the dough until is smooth and elastic. ( If the dough seems a little stiff add 1-2 tbsp water)
- Place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knock back the dough by gently kneading just few min. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Now mould the dough into a 33 thin cords as in the pictures. Follow carefully the step by step instructions. Seal ends by pressing down firmly with your fingertips. Brushing with water, then sprinkling with sesame seeds
- Heat oven to 180°C / 350°
- Bake for 25-30 mins until golden
SALAMI & CHEESE BREAD
Ingredients: 500 gr flour for bread – 300ml water – 150 gr salami cut into cubes- 150 gr mix of provolone , cacciocavalo , cheddar (cubes) – 3 tbs olive oil – 10 gr fast action yeast – 2 teaspoon salt
Method: Preheat oven to 375 °F. Grease and line a loaf pan with baking parchment
- Into a large bowl sift together flour , salt , yeast , oil, water -until dough is formed
- Knead the dough for 20min , add cheese & salami cubes and form it into a ball
- Let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place until doubled in size
- After 2 hours knead it again for 10 min . Place it on the baking parchment & let it rise again for 1 hour
- Bake for about 40 – 45 ‘ until golden