Bread Stuffed with Figs and Brown Sugar

Fig Bread cut SServe as dessert, with xynomysithra –the tangy ricotta-like fresh cheese from Chania, Crete. It is great for breakfast with yogurt and fruits, but can also be paired with aged and spicy cheeses. It is wonderful with gorgonzola and kopanisti –the Greek fermented cheese– especially complemented with Vinsanto of Santorini, with Mavrodaphne of Patras or port wine, but also with my aromatic lemon liqueur. (more…)

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Olive and Onion rolls in Orange-Olive Oil Pastry (Eliopita)

The original recipe was given to me many years ago, by Zoe Evangelou; the recipe was revised by Vali Manouelides, while later I came up with the idea to make bite-size eliopites, as by cutting the roll into thin slices the stuffing often falls off.

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See below my new variation  for rolls and pies  made with the yeasted  Yellow Spicy Bread Dough.

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Makes about 60 meze bites (more…)

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Yellow, Spicy Griddle Crackers

Based on my usual bread dough to which I substituted cornmeal for the barley, and added a lot more spices, especially turmeric and cumin, which give it a warm, earthy flavor and a vivid yellow color to make the Yellow Spicy Bread.

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For these irresistible, crispy crackers we shaped part of the dough into thin oval pita-like pieces and baked them on the saç! Our latest love affair with the hot-plate I brought from Istanbul inspired us to make other savory and sweet dishes pies, besides these crispy breads.

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The crackers can be easily baked on any griddle or skillet. Depending on the size of the one you will use, take smaller pieces of dough, and flatten them so that they can easily fit on your griddle or hot-plate.

Makes 16 large crackers

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Yellow, Spicy Bread

This is a bread with bold flavor, based on my usual dough to which I substituted cornmeal for the barley, and added a lot more spices, especially turmeric and cumin, which give it a warm, earthy flavor and a vivid yellow color.

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You can shape it into loaves, or you can use the dough to make olive-and-leek-stuffed rolls, or larger pies.

The irresistible, crispy crackers that we created baking thin oval pita-like pieces of dough on the saç our favorites! Our latest love affair with the hot-plate I brought from Istanbul inspired us to make these yellow crackers, as well as other savory and sweet dishes. The crispy breads can be easily baked on a griddle. Depending on the size of the one you can use take out pieces of dough and flatten then so that they fit on your hot-plate.

Yields 2-3 medium loaves, or laganes –focaccia-like breads

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Stuffed Bread with Broccoli and Cheese

Inspired from the Sicilian stuffed focaccias from Catania. The same stuffing could have been used for a traditional Greek pie wrapped in phylo pastry. Instead of broccoli you can use cauliflower or blanched, squeezed and chopped greens (spinach, chard, kale etc.) adding chopped scallions and dill or other herbs, if you like.

Read more HERE.

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Makes 8 individual pies (more…)

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Pompe a l’ Huile: Festive Bread from Provence

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Part of the traditional Christmas table in Provence this delicious olive oil bread is supposed to be torn into pieces with the hands and never cut with a knife. Pompe a l’ Huile is served along with twelve more desserts on Christmas Eve on the festive tables all around the Mediterranean coast of France. The thirteen sweetmeats include various dried fruits –figs, different kinds of grapes, plums etc.—candied pears and apples, as well as oranges and other citrus fruits, cookies and nougat.

Makes THREE 12-inch flat breads (more…)

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Ka’ak: Savory Cookie Rings or Breadsticks

Adapted from Poopa Dweck’s recipe.

“Ka’ak has the texture and crunch of a breadstick, but it is ring-shaped and has a crimped edge. A staple of the Aleppian pantry, ka’ak is usually offered to guests when Aleppian Jews serve coffee or tea,” writes Poopa Dweck. Because I make my dough with 7 cups flour in the KitchenAid, I increased the amount of flour adding whole wheat, not just all purpose; I also used olive oil instead of the ‘vegetable shortening’ the recipe suggests.Bread Kaak1 S

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I had no sesame the first time I made ka’ak so I substituted sunflower seeds. Both my husband and our friends who tried them couldn’t stop eating them, and they disappeared fast. For the second batch I used both sesame, as well as poppy seeds and ground walnuts, but also sunflower seeds again, which seemed to complement ideally the cookie’s flavor and crunch.

For about 64 cookies (more…)

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Wheat and Barley, or Emmer Bread with Spices

My everyday bread, inspired from traditional Greek island recipes. See at the end my recent variation with heirloom Emmer (Farro, or Dicoccum Tricoccum) whole-wheat flour from Trinity Farm in Thessaly, Central Greece. You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days, gradually taking out pieces to make laganes, stuffed breads, or lachmacun –topped with Spicy Ground Meat, etc.

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Yields 2 medium loaves, or 2 flat laganes (more…)

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Pumpkin, Tangerine and Marmalade Bread

A naturally sweet festive treat for Christmas or the New Year. I came up with the recipe as this time of the year I have dozens of jars of marmalade from our very productive Seville Orange tree.
If you like, you can write the year with almonds on the bread just before putting in the oven, and so create a new version of the vasilipita, the Greek sweet that we divide and share the New Year.

Anyway you decorate it this bread is delicious and accompanies cheeses –the sharper the better. It is also the ideal bread to serve with foie gras. You can slice any leftover and bake in a low oven to dry and enjoy as snack or use as bruschetta with various sweet or savory toppings.

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Yields 2 small, or one large round loaf
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