Lately I have been reading a lot about the latest diet craze - Mediterranean food. I have to tell you, it seems like a no-brainer to me. I love olive oil, and red wine. I eat little meat, and almost no red meat at all. I eat fish a couple times a week. Lots of fresh veggies, and fruit all the time. So when I found this bread, Psomi bread (pronounced 'sew me') from Greece I was thrilled. After looking over the recipe, I realized, it is actually quite similar to the American Anadama bread, but with some important differences. For instance, this bread does not use molasses, and so stays whitish rather than brown. Actually, light brown, like a 'harvest wheat', as Frasier used to say. And it uses toasted sesame seeds instead of the cornmeal found in Anadama. What it is, is delicious, with a soft but chewy crust and a close, tight crumb. It makes great sandwiches, and also, just in case you were curious, the toast is superb.
Here's What You'll Need: (for 2 loaves)
(for the sponge)
1/2 cup warm water
1Tbs instant yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk), at room temperature
3 cups whole wheat flour
(for the dough)
4 Tbs honey
2 Tbs butter (or margarine)
2 to 3 cups AP flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
flour for dusting
oil for greasing the bowl
Here's What You'll Need to Do:
1. To make the sponge: Mix the warm water and the yeast to dissolve. Then mix in the buttermilk and the whole wheat flour to form a shaggy dough. Cover and set aside until double in volume (about 45 minutes).
2. Add the honey, salt, butter, sesame seeds and 2 cups of the flour and mix to form a dough that cleans the bowl. Remove the dough to a floured surface and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes) adding small amounts of dough as needed.
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover to rise until doubled in volume (about 2 hours).
4. Remove the dough, cut in two, and shape either into a boule, or as pan loaves. If using loaf pans, oil them generously. Cover and let rise until doubled.
5. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Just before baking. slash the loaves with 3 horizontal slashes. Bake with steam for about 35-40 minutes or until they sound hollow when 'thumped' on the bottom.
6. Cool on a rack.