Today’s recipe is from Greece, the land of olives, souvlakis and tatzikis!…In Greece, ring-shaped breads like the one I’ve made are referred to as Koulouri (Κουλουρι) and Koulouri Thessalonikis (Κουλουρι Θεσσαλονικης) means koulouri of the city of Thessalonikis, Greece’s second largest city.
Koulouri is sold as a street food pretty much everywhere in Greece. Turkey has an almost identical bread, called “Simit”. I love the braided rings and their simple taste means you can add sweet or savoury toppings to it. Honey or jam for breakfast, or tuna and capsicum for lunch!
This is one of the simple breads to bake at home, the dough recipe is quite straightforward and to get the braided look, you just twist two strands of the dough together and then form a circle :D
To accompany your new Greek bread, here’s some amazing Greek music and dance!
Καλή όρεξη! (Pronounced Kalí óreksi, or bon Appetit in Greek :) )
Ingredients: (Recipe from here)
500g plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
2.5 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
300 ml lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons light olive oil
Sesame seeds, to garnish
1- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and mix throughly.
2- Pour water in a measuring jug, add yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve completely.
3- Add olive oil to the liquid mixture and stir to combine.
4- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and combine to a rough dough.
5- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, until the dough is not sticky anymore.
6- Oil a large bowl and let the dough rest in the bowl, covered, for 1.5 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
7- Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knock it back.
8- Knead again for 30 seconds. Then, roll it out to a long cylinder, approximately 40 cm in size.
9- Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
10- Roll out each piece to a thin cylinder and set aside.
11- Twist each strand and join the ends together to form a circle like this:
(Tip: To get an even better twisted look, twist two, instead of one, strands of dough together and then join them together in a circle.)
12- Put the breads on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and let rise for 30 minutes.
13-Preheat the oven to 200 C.
14- Brush the top of breads with water and sprinkle sesame seeds on top of them.
15- Bake in centre of the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Other Koulouri’s around the world:
1- Koulouri for Breakfast: http://ifthechouxfits.com/2013/koulouri-breakfast/
2- Greek Simiti (Koulouri): http://mylittleexpatkitchen.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/the-greek-simiti-koulouri.html
3- Koulouri with feta cheese, tomatoes and basil: http://thegoudalife.tumblr.com/post/80001670337/there-are-bagels-at-hand-montreal-style-bagels
4- Turkish Simit: http://www.giverecipe.com/1-simit-1-cheese-please.html