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Greek Recipes

Greek Bread

Village Sour Dough Starter "Prozimi Horiatiko"
For most of us who dont bake bread unless its for a special occasion, this may seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming step as if bread making in itself wasnt enough.  But Sour Dough starter is very basic to Greek bread making and gives the recipes much more flavor and aroma than using plain yeast. 

Almost all Village women use sour dough starter in their bread recipes.  The basic rule is 4:1 or four parts of flour to one part starter.

   

Ingredients
oz. fresh yeast or 1tbs.dry yeast
2 cups tepid water
lb. whole-wheat flour (any flour of your choice can be substituted)


Using Fresh Yeast:
Put a little water into a medium sized mixing bowl and add in the yeast.  Using a fork, mash it together until its a smooth paste.  Add the remaining water to the yeast mixture and stir it together.  Slowly mix in the flour.  The consistency will be like a thick batter.  Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to ferment for 24 hours.  Personally, I wrap the covered bowl in a blanket as well and then set it aside.  I think it helps keep it warmer.

After 24 hours, the mixture will appear bubbly and is ready to use.  Some village women will let it ferment for one or two days more, which will give a much stronger Sour Dough flavor to their bread.   You can also choose to refrigerate the starter for use on another day.  Starter can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator, but must be revived again before using it.

Using Dry Yeast:
Put a little water into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk the yeast granules into it then set it aside for 15-20 minutes to ferment & absorb the water.  Follow the directions as per using fresh yeast.

Reviving Sour Dough Starter:
Take the starter out of the refrigerator and put it into a bowl.  Add one cup of flour and enough water to make it into a thick batter.   Set it aside in a warm place to ferment for 24 hours.  The next day, it should appear bubbly and can be used for your bread recipe.


Susies Note: 
If you bake bread often, its easy to have a batch of sour dough starter always on hand.  All you have to do is reserve a small portion of raw bread dough about lb, from your next bread making session.  Wrap it in saran wrap and keep it in the refrigerator.  Take out the portion of dough the day before you bake your next batch of bread.  Using the directions above, revive the starter. 

 

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