The Fresh Loaf

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Greek Bread - I finally make it with my Greek daughter-in-law

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Greek Bread - I finally make it with my Greek daughter-in-law

My wife and I are spending a few (too few!) days with my brother and his wife at their get-away home near Fort Bragg, California. My older son, his wife and our grandson were able to come down from Portland. 



Our room with a view


I brought along sourdough starter and bread making paraphernalia, and three recipes for Greek bread. My daughter-in-law and I chose the recipe that seemed to her closest to the bread she remembered from Greece. We converted it to sourdough rather than a yeasted sponge, and I used mixing and fermentation techniques I thought would yield a better result than those in the recipe.


Did I say we made bread to go with a barbecued turkey and fixings for 11? Or that we had a Vermont Sourdough with Walnuts with the cheese and wine before dinner?


Stephanie had never made bread before, but she's a really good cook and a quick study. After watching me form one boule she proceeded to form one better than mine.



Stephanie with boules ready to proof


I had ordered a baking stone, kneading board and some other bread essentials from nybakers.com, and Stan shipped them directly to Fort Bragg, kindly arranging that they arrive at exactly the right day. We baked the loaves on the stone, with steam.



Greek Breads 



Greek Bread crumb


Stephanie said the bread was a pretty good approximation of bread she had had in Greece. (It would have been closer, if I had remembered to use the durum flour I brought along.)  It was a very good white sandwich bread flavor and texture with the added flavor of the sesame seeds. It was enjoyed by all, but, I think, most of all by the new bread baker.



Greek bearing Greek Bread


David

Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Lovely view, lovely, breads, and a lovely DIL, David.  Don't know who shaped which boule, but they both look great.


Is that a thermometer in your shirt pocket?  A true sign of a bread geek!


Enjoy the rest of your stay; a very Happy New Year to you and your family.

dstroy's picture
dstroy

aw! What fun! And what a great post! And the bread looks delicious!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

most definitely you are!! Lovely family history in the making! Lovely family, lovely bread! Happy New Year David and family!


The view ain't too shabby either!


My mistake.. Fiddler was Russia, not Greece, but the sentiment is still the same!


Happy New Year!


Betty

Marni's picture
Marni

Beautiful view, bread and experience.  Thank you for sharing it.  I also noticed the "pocket thermometer"  -ready at a moments notice!


Enjoy your family visit!


Marni

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

family, fun and baking!  Your smiles show what a great time you are all enjoying!  Thanks for sharing your family, baking and photos.  Happy New Year to All of You!


Sylvia

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

A great post and lovely bread, David!


You're obviously a very gifted teacher :)


Keep spreading the word about good bread!

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

After you had stated so often how you'd like to bake with family, it's great to see those big smiles and know you both enjoyed the baking session and its many rewards. May that pleasure spread to some of the others too!


Best wishes for 2010.


Robyn

chouette22's picture
chouette22

...for 2010 and may it bring us many more and new bread-baking stories from you - always so interesting and inspiring. My starter has been dormant for a week too many (lots of regular-yeasted breads around the holidays), so I'll get up and refresh it as soon as I hit "Save". Your enthusiasm is contagious - thank you!

salma's picture
salma

David, you always amaze me with your knowledge of bread baking.  I learn a lot from reading your posts.  LindyD took the words out of my mouth.  No matter where the bread geek goes, he is ready with his sourdough!  And what fabulous looking Greek Bread!  You might have added Stephanie to the TFL family.  Happy New Year to you and your family.


Salma

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Lovely.   The Mendocino area is beautful.


Happy New Years and thanks again for all of your wonderful posts this year!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Infecting my DIL with the bread baking bug was such a pleasure! It surely out-scored the pleasure we all experience having family and friends enjoy eating our baked goods.


The baking stone, kneading board, bench knife and flour I had Stan send to my brother was my gift to him, so they stayed in Fort Bragg. I just happened to leave about a pound and a half of prepared pizza dough in his fridge as well. (More about the pizza's I made last night, as time allows.) When I left, he was showing early signs of having caught the bug as well. 


Watch out for a couple more Snyder's on TFL! 


A very happy, healthy and productive New Year to all of us!


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I am the brother of David.  I joined TFL just to say how wonderful it is to have a brother with such dedication to his family's culinary pleasure.  What David didn't mention is that he arrived at our house not only with his portable bakery kit (and having ordered a pizza stone, kneading board and some supplies as a gift to my wife and me), but with a selection of breads to tide us over (a Rye, a San Joaquin Sourdough, a Walnut Sourdough, a Raison Cinnamon and a Challah). All delicious!  All gone!


The Greek bread was fantastic.  Texture like a challah, but with a slightly chewier crust and a slightly denser crumb (see...I've listened to him talk bread enough to get a couple technical terms).  And it was heart-warming to see Stephanie's joy at a successful first lesson in the baker's craft.  The smiles do tell much of the story.  The other 9 smiles around the table were just as telling.


I will let David describe the pizzas he made. He did leave a couple of balls of pizza dough for my first experiment tonight.  I hope he'll be home to provide tech support by phone.


Thanks, David.


And Happy New Year to you all.


Glenn Snyder

GrapevineTexas's picture
GrapevineTexas

I'm drooling over all of it. 


It was endearing, reading that you had items shipped...I did this for a daughter's wedding at Kelseyville, via KA.  It really helps one feel the similar vibe of their own kitchen, doesn't it?  Kudos to you for baking with your DIL, by the way.  Beautiful memories for years to come for both of you!


I've seen pics of Fort Bragg and LOVE how cozy and dear the place seems to be.  Did you happen by Pippi-LongStockings, by chance?  LOL.   2cute!  Foot covers for ever fancy.  ;)


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Stephani and Glen,


What a wonderful view and home. David is an incredible baker who has taught all of us much about this craft. Your Greek bread is something I have been wanting  to do well for some time. Perhaps now we will hear the secret to wonderful Greek country bread.


May we all enjoy a healthy New Year and the blessings of family.


Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks David, thanks Glenn, thanks all.


Like you, David, and I suspect most of us, I find myself proselytizing about sourdough bread baking...once the bug strikes you feel compelled to pass it on, just so others can share the wonder. Sounds dippy, but that's how it is.


I, for one, would be most interested in your recipe for Greek bread.


Fond memories of my time in Greece come drifting back like a light afternoon sea breeze through a hot afternoon...that dense, honest white bread with a flavour all its own, breakfasts of yoghurt - surely the best in the world - with the best honey I've ever tasted and sweet juicy honey-melon, a Greek salad with a little jug of olive oil poured over it at every meal (and oh, the fetta!), outrageously tasty souvlaki, the mystic charm of retsina on windless balmy evenings (why is it so perfect in Greece, and so gross in any other national setting!!?), stop, stop...ahhh, see what you've done?


Cheers all and Happy New Year.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The Greek bread was good - certainly everyone enjoyed it - but I think the recipe needs tweaking. I'm going to play with it some and will post a recipe when I think it's worthy of sharing.


I will forgive you for making me hungry when I should be getting to bed!


We are in the early stages of planning a trip to Greece with my son & DIL and her parents. Her father was born in this country but spoke only Greek until he entered school. I think having a couple of folks along who are fluent in Greek can't help but enhance our experience.


David

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I will forgive you for making me hungry when I should be getting to bed!

You'll forgive ME? I whack on 1/2 a kilo every time I look at one of your posts! Not even close to getting my own back!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

David--

You say you will post a recipe when you "think it's worthy of sharing."

I am sure you are aware of Aeschylus' unpublished play, The Bakers, in which the hero, Seseemeus, maniacally pursues perfection in his Greek Loaf, and keeps coming SO close but--at least in his mind--never attains it.   Poor Seseemeus neglected to appreciate fully the very very very good bread he baked, so keen was he on achieving the unattainable perfection.  And those who enjoyed his very very very good bread thought perhaps that their enjoyment of it reflected some defect in their taste.  A real tragedy!

Your (and Stephanie's) first try was thoroughly excellent.  I can't remember more enjoyable toast than that I had this morning.

Glenn

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I evidently neglected to warn you about drinking the liquid that floats to the top of the sourdough starter (technically known as "hooch").


As you may know, back in 1898, an Alaskan gold rush "sourdough" carelessly spilled his hooch on a glacier he was passing by. That glacier began to melt, and, as the effect has spread, the polar ice cap and arctic ocean have also been  effected. The resulting decrease in reflection of the Sun's radiation has led to the global warming we fear so much currently.


If you find hooch in your starter, just stir it back in. It does no harm to Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, unlike glaciers and members of the genus Homo.


I am quite familiar with Aeschylus' The Bakers. As I recall, I read it in your library in the translation by William Claude Dukenfield.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I never knew that our sourdough addiction has continued to affect our climates demise. Shame on all who choose healthful breads over chemically altered .. loaves of , of , of ummm


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You well know that by feeding your starter regularly you can help prevent the sea level from rising. We all need to do our part.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I understand, make lemonade (WC's preference) from lemons..or bread from healthy starter, no hooch!

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

the bread looks gorgeous and the smiles on everyone's face say it all. Congratulations! Where can I get a copy of the recipe? BTW, I have also published a recipe for Greek bread on my blog Psomi Horiatiko - you can find it here:


http://breadmantalking.blogspot.com/2010/07/psomi-horiatiko-greek-country-bread.html


 


If you try it, let me know how it came out. When I made it it was a little denser than bread I am used to, but delicious!


Regards,


David at: breadmantalking.blogspot.com


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Shalom, David!


After posting this version, I did a bit more work on the recipe and posted it in another topic. I think the second version was an improvement. You can find it here: Greek Bread - Improved.


I have never been to Greece, but everything I've read indicates that this bread is supposed to be very dense. Frankly, I didn't like this bread very much.


If you do bake my version, please let me know your impressions.


David