Monday, May 25, 2009

BBA Challenge: Greek Celebration Bread (Artos)

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Bread Baker's Apprentice

It's the end of week two of the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge and time to share the results of our Greek Celebration Bread. There were 3 breads to choose from that fell into this category, all of which were in the book - Greek Celebration Bread (aka Artos), Christophsomos (a Christmas bread), and Lambrosomo (an Easter bread).


Greek Celebration Bread involves a dough made with a "poolish sponge" - a mixture of bread flour, water and yeast. This mixture is combined and allowed to ferment before introducing with the rest of the bread ingredients. Once you have made your poolish, it's combined with bread flour, additional yeast, allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, honey, orange zest, almond extract, eggs, olive oil and milk.


A dough is then formed and kneaded, before it's left to rise.


After it's risen, the dough is formed into a boule and left to rise a second time before baking.


The bread is baked and to finish them off, a honey, sugar and orange zest glazed it brushed over the bread while still hot.


Since the amount of dough that the recipe yielded was more than I expected, I made two small boules instead of one. I initially planned on making "Christophsomos", a bread which included dried cranberries, golden raisins and toasted walnuts... however I mistakenly forgot to include these ingredients in the dough. It's what happens when you're trying to do too many things at the same time - which is often the case for me! What also intrigued me to the Christophsomos bread was the beautiful decorative cross on top of the boule.

Despite the lack of the fruit and nuts in the bread, I formed my Greek Celebration dough into a boule and topped it with the decorative cross seen on Christphsomos. I also studded the cross with dried cranberries. and continued with the rest of the Greek Celebration Bread recipe.

The result was beautiful... and the sweet smell of this bread was amazing.

Be sure to check out the blogs of others who are participating in this challenge through Pinch My Salt's site! If you would like the recipe, you can find it on pages 112 - 114 in Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

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