Greek Village Bread

Greek Village Bread is sesame seed coated bread is traditionally made with “yellow” or “country” flour a blend of white and whole-wheat flour mixed with finely ground cornmeal. Alternatively, it can be made with just unbleached flour. In Greece the bread is commonly known as Daktlya meaning fingers because it is broken into fingers of bread to eat.

2 teaspoons dry yeast

1¼ cups (300g) water (110 F/45 C)

2 ½ cups (350g) unbleached flour

½ cup (75g) whole wheat flour

½ cup fine cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon milk, plus extra for glaze

Sesame seeds for garnish

1. Sprinkle the yeast into ½ cup (125ml) water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flours, cornmeal and salt, thoroughly in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

2. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough flour into the dissolved yeast to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a towel and let “sponge” until frothy and risen, 20 minutes. Add oil, honey and milk to the sponge.

3. Pour ½ the remaining water into the well. Mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the reserved water, as needed to form moist dough.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed until smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes

5. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours. Punch down, let rest for10 minutes.

6. Divide dough into six equal pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong; arrange in a row just touching, on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel and proof until doubles in size, about 1 hour.

7. Brush top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in reheated oven for 45 minutes, 400 degrees F. (200C) until hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on wire rack.

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