Christmas Bread with Figs

Christmas Bread with Figs

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This is another version of the Christopsomo. From the region of Macedonia, Northern Greece, this bread contains figs, symbolic of prosperity, wealth, and happiness, as a blessing upon the household. It is also symbolic of the arrival of Christ into the world. 

The bread can be made into small buns or one large loaf. The bread must have a cross on top. This recipe is very similar to Stafidopsomo (raisin bread).

Ingredients

210g milk, at room temperature (7.4 ounces)

90g honey, warmed (3.2 ounces)

30g butter, melted (1 ounce)

1 egg

200g whole wheat flour (7 ounces)

125g all-purpose flour (4.4 ounces)

4g dry yeast (1/2 tbsp)

½ tsp salt

150g raisins (5 ounces)

150g dried figs, chopped (5 ounces)

Honey-glaze

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp honey

Instructions

1. Warm the honey and melt butter, separately. Leave aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, add both kinds of flour, yeast, raisins and salt; use a spoon to combine.

3. In another bowl, add the warmed honey, melted butter and milk, then whisk. Add the egg and whisk again, until the ingredients combine. Pour the mixture with all the liquids in the flour-raisins mixture, and mix with a spoon to combine. Knead the dough with your hands for 2-3 minutes – if you have an electric mixer, use dough hook for 4-5 minutes. (NOTE: for the bread to be soft and fluffy, the dough should be very soft and sticky, so do not try to add any more flour.)

4. Coat a bowl with oil and place dough in it, sprinkle with some flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise (in a warm place) for at least 1 hour or until it doubles in size.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and split into 8 pieces – or 16 mini-buns – work with floured hands. Form each piece into a round loaf. (NOTE: save some of the dough to make little crosses to stick onto each loaf with some beaten egg yolk). Layer the bottom of a baking tray with some grease-proof paper and place the loaves (or buns) on it. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes, or until a golden crust forms and the bread is cooked throughout.

6. If you like your breads to be shiny, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp honey together. Brush the top of each loaf with the honey glaze.

Recipe sourced and adapted from www.mygreekdish.com

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Chris Vlahonasios

Chris Vlahonasios is a law graduate from Victoria University and Orthodox media writer for TRANSFIGURE Media.