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Christmas Bread

Christopsomo is a type of bread prepared in Greece on Christmas Eve. Traditional decorative designs called kentidia adorn the bread, for good luck for the whole family.

 

Ingredients:

2 kg of strong flour
2 cubes of fresh yeast or 4 sachets of dried yeast
1 tbsp of salt
4 tbsp of sugar
2 cups of shelled walnuts medium cut
4 tbsp of aniseed
100 g. of sesame seed
2 sachets of pine seed
1 level tbsp of powdered mastic
1 tsp of powdered mahlab
1 packet of margarine or butter
Almonds and walnuts unshelled for decoration

 

Directions:

Boil the aniseed in 3 cups or water for 5 minutes. Pile flour in a bowl and make a small well in the centre. Add the salt, sugar, mahlab, some cubes of butter, the mastic, and the tepid water with the aniseed. Knead the mixture until you have a silky and elastic dough. Add the pine seed and – if necessary – some more water.
Place the bread dough on to 2 buttered baking trays, saving a small quantity for decoration.
Cover them and allow the dough to prove. Re-knead for a little more and place on the trays.
Make strands of dough with the quantity saved earlier and place them in a cross-like pattern on the breads, adding the walnut in the centre.
Decorate with almonds, spread with water and milk, dredge with sesame seed and bake in a preheated oven at 130˚C for over one hour.

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