Sunday, May 16, 2010

BBA: Artos Greek Celebration Bread

The aroma coming from my kitchen right now is heavenly. The Greek bread is just out of the oven and I'm now in the 1 hour wait for it to cool. This 1 hour wait reminds me of all the two week waits I suffered through with all it's anticipation and hopefulness. (For all those non-baby obsessed people: The two weeks wait is the time between ovulation and when your period should start, or more to the point hopefully not start. There are whole online communities of women right now helping each other through this time and I was once one of them. We'd talk about all kinds of random stuff and play all kinds of random games to keep our minds off the suspense. You know what! I should tell them all to start the BBA Challenge!)
My second BBA Challenge bread is Greek Celebration Bread. As a celebration bread this bread includes some fun spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, lemon zest, almond extract and honey.
I had a lemon in the house to zest, but my baking schedule got interrupted with an illness and the lemon found it's way into another dish in the meantime. I didn't realize I was without the lemon until I'd already started the mixing, so I substituted with lemon juice. The recipe also suggests minced orange zest instead of lemon. That might be an interesting twist to try one day. I, of course, avoided the celebration bread variations (Christopsomos and Lambropsomo) as they required adding raisins to the bread. No fruit in my bread!
See my new bread board my dad was so kind to sand down for me. Isn't it gorgeous! I was using an old cutting board to knead my dough on after a few horrible experiences of working with dough on the counter. Flour + water = paste. How do people clean up after using the counter?! I asked my dad if he could sand it down for me and as usual he returned with a product almost too pretty to use!
This is only my second bread, but I already felt a bit more at ease with the steps. I still didn't attain "windowpane" status, but I was closer..... I think.
10 minutes of kneading is a long time when you're first learning. I looked up after 3 minutes thinking I was done.
 Again, the magic of the rise. I didn't believe it would really double in size. But it did.
The flavor was fantastic. It really did taste like a festive bread. It will be great to do again at the holidays. The flavor keeps people guessing too. I had two people guess ginger as a spice. I think the combination of spices really makes this bread a winner. I know I'll be baking this one again.


  1. Ha! Love the comparison of waiting for the bread to cool to the 2WW! =) So true.

    We loved this one. It made the single most amazing French toast I've ever had in my life. And I love your bread board - I'm envious. Your artos looks beautiful!

  2. Artie!!! How we loved the Artos around here...we named my octopus version Artie and ate him limb by limb. It's not a bread for every day, but a fine one for every now and again...oh so good toasted with a little cinnamon sugar. Yours looks absolutely gorgeous.


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