Thursday, January 30, 2014

Koulouri, Greek Politiko Simiti

          This month's challenge for the Eggless Baking Group is a type of bread, Koulouri/ Greek Politiko Simiti, it was suggested by Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes. It's a common street food and snack in Greece and Turkey, the bread is in the shape of a ring, Koulouri meaning small round shaped bread ring. Traditionally eggs are used in the bread dough and the rings of dough are dipped in Petimezi ( grape must syrup which is basically grape juice boiled till it reaches a thick syrup consistency), then rolled in toasted sesame seeds and baked. I have replaced the egg with flax seed powder, and since we don't get Petimezi in India and also, since making it from scratch is a very lengthy process, I replaced it with a blueberry mixture. Also, since I was not sure about the taste, I made just four rings. We had it with some orange marmalade and finished it the same day, if you like the nutty taste from the sesame seeds and like crunchy and chewy bread, then this is for you..

Need To Have

  • All Purpose Flour/ Maida - 1 cup
  • Active Dry Yeast - 1 teaspoon
  • Flax Seed Powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Milk - 3 tablespoons
  • Lukewarm Water - 3 tablespoons
  • Sesame Seeds - just enough to roll your rings in
  • Blueberry Preserves - 2 tablespoons
  • Water - 1/2 cup to make the blueberry syrup

Recipe Source : My Little Expat Kitchen


          Take the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar and add 2 tablespoons of the warm water and leave it to rise ( about 8 to 10 minutes). Also add the flax seed powder to 1 tablespoon of water and leave it for the same 10 minutes. After ten minutes the yeast should be like a foamy mixture.

          Take the flax seeds mixture, olive oil, sugar and salt and mix it well. Then add sifted flour and the yeast and using the milk, make a sticky yet manageable dough, knead it for about 10 minutes, then leave it covered for 1 to 11/2 hours ( depending on how warm the surrounding is ), at the end of which the dough would have doubled up in size.

          In the meantime, toast the sesame seeds till golden, remove and keep.

          Since the blueberry preserves has some whole blueberries in it, blend it with a little water to a smooth paste, then add the remaining water and mix it. At this point if you want you can add a little sugar to the blueberry water, but taste it before adding the sugar.

          Once the dough has doubled up, divide it into 4 parts, take one and roll it out like a rope, about 12" to 15" long and then bend it halfway, like shown in the picture.

          Now braid the rope like shown in the figure and then bring together the two edges to make a ring. Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough.

          Dip the braided rings in the blueberry liqiud and carefully roll it over the sesame seeds.

          Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes at 200C, till they have a golden crust. Cool and serve it with fresh cheese or jelly or cream cheese or with any creamy spread.

You can use grape jelly or black currant jam in the place of the blueberry preserves, or even some honey, maple syrup or if you want to buy the Petimezi, you can buy online from Amazon, I think, now they ship to India also.
Oven timings vary, so check after 18 minutes.
As I haven't tasted the original bread I am not too sure of the taste, though the dough is soaked in the blueberry liquid, it doesn't taste sweet, might be, it gives a very slight flavor.
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