Village bread and or yianni’s cheese bread recipe

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  • Yield: 2 loavesor 12 cheese filled breadrings


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 7 to 8 cups bread flour
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, or sourdough starter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, lightly whisked with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1½ cups crumbled Greek feta cheese (optional)
How to Make It
  1. In a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the warm water with 1 cup of the bread flour, the yeast (or starter), and sugar. Tightly cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and then with a large kitchen towel, or better yet, with an old blanket, and let it stand in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, until the mixture is thick and pasty and has begun to swell.
  2. Attach the dough hook to the mixer.
  3. Add the remaining 1 cup warm water, the olive oil, 5 cups of the flour, and salt to the bowl and mix on low speed until everything is combined. Slowly add enough of the remaining flour, stirring slowly and then on medium speed with the dough hook, until a smooth, silky dough takes shape. Using a rubber spatula, push the dough down on occasion as you mix it.
  4. Remove the dough, knead it for a few minutes by hand on a floured surface, and place in an oiled bowl, preferably glass or ceramic. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and swaddle in a large kitchen towel or blanket. Let the dough rest until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  5. Punch it down by hand in the bowl, or, alternatively, place it back in the clean mixer bowl and knead with the dough hook for a few minutes.
  6. At this point, you can either shape the dough into 2 loaves and set them either free-form on an oiled baking sheet or in 2 oiled 10-inch loaf pans; or, you can divide it into 12 balls and let them rest, covered, on a floured surface or in an oiled pan, to make the bread rings.
  7. If making loaves, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). If making cheese-filled rings, preheat the oven to 400°F (220°C).
  8. For the Loaves
  9. When the loaves are almost doubled again in bulk, make 3 slits diagonally on the surface with a sharp paring knife. Brush with the egg white mixture and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool.
  10. For the Cheese-Filled Rings
  11. Take each of the 12 dough balls and shape each into a rope about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and 12 inches (30 cm) long. Flatten each rope using a rolling pin to a width of about 2 inches (5 cm). Sprinkle with 1 heaping tablespoon of crumbled feta. Roll lengthwise into a tight cylinder to a width of about 2 inches (5 cm), twist gently while holding both ends, then bring the ends together to form a 5- or 6-inch (12.5- or 15-cm) ring. Press to close. Place the rings on a floured surface, i.e., a table covered with kitchen towels. Let rise for about 15 minutes.
  12. Place several rings on 1 or 2 large, oiled or nonstick baking pans (however many your oven will hold). Brush with the egg white wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until puffed, golden, and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove and serve hot or warm.

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