Graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City and owner of Uncle Nick’s Greek Cuisine, NYC. Manatakis is a Greek and Italian-American Orthodox Christian chef who has appeared on the Food Network’s Chopped and winner of the Family Food Showdown cooking competition. Sophia says her dream to become a chef came from her faith, feeling fearless, and being self confident. Even when her path seemed uncertain, she chose to trust in her faith. Chef Sophia is also a recipient of the Orthodox Christian Network 30 under 30 entrepreneurship award. Sophia has recently published Our Greek Kitchen, the first of many cook-calendars, has a catering business and is a private culinary instructor. Sophia’s intensity and passion for culinary art is unmeasurable.
Celebrity Chef Sophia is returning. She joins myOCN Community live on Monday, 12/14 at 7pm EST. She will be baking Christopsomo (Christ’s Bread), which is a Greek Christmas family tradition. Join for an a one hour interactive video session on Zoom with limited availability for two-way discussion. Join us and thousands online for prayers, baking, and discussion. Families and children are welcome. You will have the opportunity to ask questions. If you would like to attend and be registered for giveaways. Register HERE to receive sign-in instructions.
Prep prior to virtual event. Step 1: sprinkle yeast, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar over the milk. Set for an hour.
two 1/4-ounce envelopes of active dry yeast
8 cups unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups whole milk, warmed
2 teaspoons ground anise seeds
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground mastic gum
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon whole milk, for egg wash
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle yeast, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar over the milk. Set for an hour. Mix 7 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar, the anise seeds, salt, orange zest, and mastic gum if desired. Make a dip in the center of the ingredients. Then add milk mixture, melted butter, and eggs. Mix ingredients together.
Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth and supple, about 15 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place (1.5 to 2 hours).
Butter pans. Divide in dough in half and roll each half. Coil each log into a circle into a spiral. Transfer each to a prepared pan. Cover with plastic, and let rise until doubled (1.5 to 2 hours). Brush egg wash over tops of loaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown. Transfer pans to a wire rack, and let cool for 15 minutes.