Bread or Psomi, Psomaki is one of the three Greek pillars in nutrition. The ancient Greeks were among the first people in the world to develop bread making techniques and to make bread a key component to their diet. The Greeks even have a goddess of bread “Demeter”.
Eating bread was a significant part of civilization. From the grain to making a loaf of bread, the whole process in many cultures is a sign of friendship, hospitality and basic necessity. With my culinary travels across the world, one of my favorite things to do is research, foods, recipes and traditions. After my last trip to Greece I purchased the book “The Greek Diet” by Maria Loi In the book Maria talks about the twelve pillar foods.
Herbs & Spices
Coffee & Tea
Nuts & Seeds
Chicken & Eggs
Whole grains and ancient wheat used to be very healthy for the human body. Modern wheat and grains rely on synthetic fertilizers and herbicides that damage our health. With being a chef and cooking for people I have noticed now more then every people who have become gluten sensitive. What I find extremely interesting is that when these same people travel to Italy and Greece with me and they eat pizza, pasta and bread they are not experiencing these sensitivities. European countries are not genetically modifying their grains and they are not using high levels of fetilizer’s and herbicides like we do in America.
Here are my suggestions and take away’s from my love of ancient grains and recipes from across the world and how to deal with our grains and flours in our modern world. If you are taking the time to make breads, invest in high quality flours and grains. Research your product. I really like https://sunriseflourmill.com/pages/our-story I can really taste the difference in a bread made with high quality heritage, organic non GMO flours. And actually my body can tell the difference. Here is the Multigrain Bread recipe of the ancient Greeks that I have adapted from “The Greek Diet” and Maria Loi
This is a multigrain bread that I love to use for morning toast and sandwiches.
8 ounces all purpose flour
8 ounces whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
8 ounces warm water ( 100* – 120* )
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons flax seeds
2 teaspoons sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons peptita seeds
In a small bowl add the warm water, sprinkle the yeast over the top, whisk and allow to activate for a few minutes. In a seperate small bowl whisk the honey, yogurt and olive oil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flours, salt and seeds. Mix together. Add the yogurt mixture, water and yeast and knead with the dough hook attachment. If dough looks to dry add a tablespoon of water at a time. as needed. If dough looks wet you may add a tablespoon of flour at a time. Sometimes temperature and humidity can effect flour and making a bread dough.
Place the bread dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. After one hour shape the dough in one large loaf and place on a parchment line sheet pan. Cover loosly with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 hour.
Pre heat oven to 400* Place rack in the center of the oven.
Brush dough loaf with olive oil and sprinkle some seeds on top. Place in pre heated oven and bake for 45- 50 minutes. If bread seems to be browning more on one side rotate the bread. The crust should be golden brown, hard to the touch, and have a good “knock” to it. A good test is placing a thermometer in the bread, the temperature should reach 195* – 200*
Place bread on a rack and allow to cool 15 – 20 minutes before slicing.
I have also divided this dough into three equal pieces and shaped into baguettes and baked in a Emile Henry baguette pan. I baked 20 minutes with lid on and 10 -15 minutes with lid off.
This dough can also be shaped into rolls, with less baking time..