Posts Tagged ‘Breads’

Homemade Tsoureki and Easter

Easter is right around the corner, and today in the Orthodox church we remember the crucifixion of Christ. The church always holds services the previous night for the actual day that the events will occur. Today, this morning actually, is the remembering of the last supper. We ascend to Mt. Zion with Christ and the chosen twelve to enter into the upper room for a special gathering. Once there, we witness the example of Christ abolishing the practice of the Old Covenant and establishing the ritual of the New Covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah, through the Mystery of Holy Communion. The faithful who have prepared also partake in communion during tonight’s evening service. This also will include the memorial of the underserved suffering of Jesus Christ, endured for our sake, so that we might be reconciled anew to God the Father. The Gospel readings go through each account of his arrest, his trial, his conviction, and finally his torture, crucifixion and death at the hands of sinful humanity. Tonight ends with a very heavy heart and understanding of the crucified Christ. Below are the icons of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion of Christ. I hope to make a blog dedicated to the explanation of Byzantine icons and what they represent; I have come a long way from being confused and irritated by the veneration of icons to finally understanding their meaning and place in the church. More on that later though. 

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I love the added taste of whole wheat flour. I add it to just about anything I am able to, including cinnamon rolls. Although, there is probably only the minimal fiber benefit by adding whole wheat flour, I think it gives a more dense and almost nutty flavor! This is the same wonderful Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Roll recipe from a long time ago, but I substituted wheat flour and a simple powdered sugar glaze instead! 
cinnamon roll piece Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup warm milk (110° F/45° C)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter or oil, softened
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (*use All Purpose if that is all you have on hand)
1 T. sugar or honey, optional
1 tsp. salt
1 packet or 2 tsp. instant dry yeast 
First, add all of the dry ingredients (minus 3/4 – 1 cup of your flour, keeping aside for kneading) to your bowl and stir. Warm the milk to 110-115° or to where it is very warm to the touch, but not burning. Slowly add the oil and eggs and give a couple of turns with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the milk and stir into a dough until it becomes too difficult to keep using a spoon.
Flour your hands and begin to shape the dough, adding the remaining flour by the tablespoon to keep the dough from sticking when needed. You can knead the dough inside your bowl or onto a floured counter; I usually knead inside the bowl for a few minutes, and when it stops being sticky I turn it out onto the counter. To form or shape the dough, you want to push the heel of your dominant hand (just above your wrist, not your foot) into the dough while turning the dough over with your other hand, repeat for 8-10 minutes until the dough is not sticky and it feels very pliable!
Spray the (now) cleaned big bowl with oil and turn to coat your dough ball, cover tightly with kitchen plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour! I turn on my oven to low for a few minutes and then leave on the light while the dough rises, this works like a charm for rising anytime of the year!
1 – 1 1/2 cups sugar (white and/or light brown)
2-3 T. cinnamon
1/3 – 2/3 cup butter, melted slightly

Optional Additional Fillings - 
1-2 T. crushed, toasted walnuts (optional)
1 T. coconut shredded (optional)
1/2 – 1 T. lemon zest (optional)
Any other ingredients you want to try, I have even spread on peanut butter once and nutella another time. Get creative with your favorite ingredients!

Remove your dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into as uniform of a rectangle as you can icon smile Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls  Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, spread the butter all over your dough and then top generously with the sugar mix and any other ingredients you want. The key here is to not be stingy. I actually don’t even measure this part of the recipe, I usually wing it and am quite liberal. Let’s face it, can a cinnamon roll really ever be healthy? I think that if you do get it “healthy” it will always be sub-par to every other cinnamon roll out there, and that is at the sacrifice of a few calories that you will probably just eat somewhere else anyway! My philosophy when making these, GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!

Roll up length-wise and cut into about 1″ rolls with either kitchen scissors or dental floss (works well if you make a loop and pull both ends in the opposite direction). Arrange in a lightly buttered pan of your choice, I used a spring form round and it works great. Bake in a preheated oven of 400 F./200 C. for around 12-15 minutes, checking for them to be golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and add a simple glaze of powdered sugar and a few drops of milk and vanilla. 
Serve with a good ole cup of joe or an ice cold mug of milk! 

cinnamon roll double Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I love saving the middle for the last indulgent bite….

Kali Orexi my friends!

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Potato Bread with Poppy Seeds

Do you ever have left over mashed potatoes or do you just sometimes prefer a kinda tangy bread?
Potato bread is really wonderful and really easy to make. Next time you are making mashed potatoes, throw in an extra potato or two to whip together some bread. The yeast just loves the potato starches.
This bread is phenomenal toasted too, excellent for breakfast or mid day sandwich!
potato bread front Potato Bread with Poppy Seeds
Potato Bread Recipe: Makes 2 loaves

Printable Recipe

Homemade Wheat Pitas

Homemade pitas are a much healthier alternative to bread or tortillas, and they don’t even take a professional baker to make! You might not even settle for another store bought pita again. I hope you will try this wonderful recipe the next time you want to make a sandwich, tortilla, wrap, or even a Greek gyro

pita bread stack Homemade Wheat Pitas

Homemade Wheat Pitas:
5 cups flour (500 g.) < 2 1/2 cups wheat, 2 1/2 cups bread flour 
2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
1/2 – 1 T. salt
1 T. EVOO 
1 cup warm water (110° F)
Sift together flours, yeast, and salt. Add oil and water and begin stirring with wooden spoon in the same direction until forming a ball. Let the dough rise in a clean bowl and warm place for 30 – 120 minutes. Turn out onto your work surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand or until you feel the dough become smooth and elastic. Roll into a long rope enough to cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll out into circles about 1/2″ thick or thinner, depending on your preferences; the thinner, the more tortilla like and the thicker the more pita like. Heat heavy skillet on medium high heat and grill on the first side for 15-20 seconds, flip and heat until bubbling, flip again and cook again until finished. Serve warm, let cool, or freeze for another day! 

Short and sweet and straight to the point… Kali Orexi!

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Monkey Bread Muffins with Homemade Caramel Sauce

These mouth watering, cinnamon and sugar infused, pull apart monkey bread muffins might just be the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. It definitely ranks up there in the top 10 for sure. This is not my recipe, I came across it on another wonderful food blog, but it was like love at first sight and right then I knew I would be making it very soon for my own lips to indulge.

monkey bread+ alone Monkey Bread Muffins with Homemade Caramel Sauce

"Healthier" Homemade Calzones

I think the calzone is of Italian origin, but I am totally just assuming because it is after all, only a folded pizza, right? Well, even though this isn’t a Greek classic, it is well worth making for yourself. I finally got around to making this 2 hours before I had to leave for work, so I ended up letting the dough rise for only 25 minutes. Surprisingly enough, it was fantastic! The dough itself was soft and almost chewy, yet held the calzone together and complimented all the wonderful fillings. So, whether you have time to let the dough rise completely or not, this might just be your favorite new calzone recipe! 
Calzone mesa w "Healthier" Homemade Calzones
Homemade Calzone Dough: Makes 2 xtr-lg or 4 medium calzones
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow flour
1 cup bread flour, plus more for kneading
1 2 tsp. dry fast acting yeast
1 – 2 tsp. salt
1 T. honey
1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 cups water, 180-185° F
Calzone Double w "Healthier" Homemade Calzones
Add your sifted flours and salt together in a large, deep bowl, I use a thin metal one. Make a well and add your yeast, oil, and a spoonful of honey. Slowly pour the warm water over the mixture and mix with a large wooden spoon until forming a large ball. Flour your hands and begin to slowing knead the dough inside the bowl, I find this helps, adding as little as flour needed to keep dough from sticking. Once dough is workable, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue kneading until dough is soft, pliable, and not sticky. Clean the metal bowl and drizzle or spray with oil, add dough to bowl, turning to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in slightly warm oven for at least 25 minutes but up to 1 hour. I switch on my oven to low for a few minutes and then leave the light on so the dough will have a warm, draft free place to rise. 
Calzone whole w "Healthier" Homemade Calzones
When the dough has doubled in size (or if you are in a hurry), begin to shape dough into 2 extra large or 4 medium calzones. Use olive oil drizzle, pesto, or tomato sauce as a sauce and then fill with desired toppings and cheeses. Bake in very hot oven (around 450° or higher) on a pizza stone if available, or at least a pizza pan with holes; bake until golden brown and bubbly!  
Zucchini and Salami Calzone:
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 medium red pepper, chopped
Handful of turkey salami slices
1 T. basil pesto
Mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
Calzone "Healthier" Homemade Calzones
Saute all the veggies in a non-stick pan with a little EVOO, cook until very tender. Spread pesto on 1/2 of the dough, spread some cheese, add a few spoonfuls of sauteed veggies and then line with turkey salami, finally, topping again with cheese. Fold over calzones, pinch the opening together, cut a few slits in the top, and drizzle with EVOO and a dash of course salt. Bake on high for about 10-12 minutes each or golden brown! Cool slightly and serve hot! 

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Banana Bread …and low fat too!!!

Oh, glorious banana bread!

I think everyone has a good banana bread recipe they love, as well as they should! But, does everyone have a low fat banana bread recipe that is probably better than that other one?

Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls.

To be completely honest, there is nothing Greek about these… it is ALL-American!
These were also my substitute this year to a Thanksgiving lunch, and I am quite confident that I achieved my calorie quota for the day.Cinnamon%2BRolls%252C%2Bect%2B089 Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls.
THE Cinnamon Roll Recipe: For 1 pan of Ooey-Gooey Rolls
Printable Recipe Here
1 cup warm milk (110° F/45° C)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter or oil, softened
4 cups bread flour
1 T. sugar or honey, optional
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. instant dry yeast
 Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls.

I used a bread maker to actually knead the dough and rise, but I have also done this by hand. The secret here is to work the dough until you can actually feel it change into a soft, pliable texture. If you have a bread maker to use, simply add the liquid first then the dry and set to “dough” setting. If you are doing it the old fashioned way, set to “by hand” and start with a large bowl. First, add all of the dry ingredients (minus 3/4 cups of your flour, waiting to add at the end) to your bowl and stir. Warm the milk to 110-115° or to where it is very warm to the touch, but not burning. Slowly add the oil and eggs and give a couple of turns with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the milk and stir into a dough until it becomes too difficult to keep using a spoon.

Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)


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