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Cypriot Style Bread




INGREDIENTS

1 beaten egg
100ml milk, warmed then brought to room temp
200ml warm water 
75ml vegetable / sunflower / olive oil 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp caster sugar
1 sachet fast action yeast 
530g strong white bread flour (plus a little extra for dusting the surface when kneading)

Grape molasses (2 parts to 1 part water)
Sesame seeds and nigella seeds (as much or as little as you like). 

METHOD

Pour the yeast into the warm water and leave to one side for 15 mins so that the yeast reacts and the water comes to room temperature. 

Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the beaten egg, water (with the yeast in), oil, milk, salt, sugar, and bring everything together with a large spoon (like my Instagram stories, which I’ll save to highlights), as it’ll be wet to begin with. When it all comes together, place the dough onto a surface dusted with flour, and knead for 10-12 minutes, adding a little more flour as and when necessary (if dough starts sticking to the surface too much). 

Once the dough has been kneaded and is nice and smooth, place in another large bowl that has been greased with a little olive oil, cover the bowl with cling film (I also put a tea towel on top), and leave to rise for 90 mins. 

Once risen, place the dough back on a floured surface, push down gently with your thumbs, fold over the corners a little (just to gently punch down, but don’t over do it as you’ll get rid of all the lovely air bubbles that will help the bread rise), then divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. 

Place the grape molasses and water in a large shallow bowl (big enough to fit the bread in), and the sesame seeds and nigella seeds in another. 

One by one, take each piece of dough, divide into two and roll each one into a long 30cm piece, then twist them together and join firmly at the end to make a circle. 

Dip into the molasses, then the seeds and make sure the bread if fully covered in seeds, then lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll need 3 baking sheets to fit the 6 breads on. 

Repeat the process with the remaining 5 pieces of dough, then cover each tray with a large plastic bag to prove the dough for the second and final time. This final prove will make the bread extra soft and fluffy. 

While the bread is proving, preheat the oven to 170C(fan) / 190C. Once the bread has been proving for half an hour, remove the plastic bags and bake for 20-25 mins until golden and risen (if it needs a little longer, then that’s fine, but don’t leave them in too long). 

Dip warm bread into tahın and pekmez (tahini and carob molasses) to remind yourself how good life really is. Afiyet olsun, my loves. 

You can freeze the bread, and just defrost and warm up in the oven for a couple of mins before serving.

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