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Chios Christ Bread (Christopsomo)

This bread is used as a Christopsomo, which is a traditional bread dedicated to Christ and baked usually on Christmas or Easter Holidays. To shape this bread you cut to long strips from the dough and form the sign of the cross with the strips on top of the dough, and at the center of the cross place a whole walnut for Christmas or a red painted egg for Easter.

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 kg all purpose flour
1 tbs salt
4 tbs sugar
1 small cup olive oil
1 tsp machlepi
34 grains mastic from Chios, grated
100 gr fresh yeast

Procedure:

Preheat oven  at 250° C.

In a pot boil 1 kg water with one tbs aniseed. When it is lukewarm use some of this water to dissolve the yeast

1.  Sift the flour in a bowl and create a hole in the middle.

2.  In the hole add the yeast, which has been dissolved. 

3. Cover the hole using the flour from the side and cover with a towel to leave the yeast to rise.

4.  When the flour begins to crack that means the yeast is ready, then add the salt, the sugar, the oil, the machlepi, the grated mastic and begin kneading.

5.  Pour the water slowly bit by bit to prepare the dough, which should be smooth and fluffy. The quantity of the water always varies because the flour is never the same.

6.  In order for the bread to become fluffy it needs approximately half an hour of kneading.

7.  Once you have kneaded it place the dough in a pan No. 36, which has been greased with oil or butter and sprinkled with flour.

8.  Leave the dough to rise and double its size.

9.  Once it is ready smear the top with ½ cup of milk in order to give it a nice colour when baking and sprinkle some sesame seeds as well.

10.  Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake  for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature at 200°C and bake for another 45 minutes.

11. Once the bread is baked remove it from the pan an leave it on an elevated surface to cool.

Tips

Christopsomo is a bit more elaborate than every day bread, but the final result will praise the effort
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