Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prosfora Bread

How good the house smells from baking flour, yeast and water! This is a recipe for three small loaves to be offered for an Orthodox liturgy. You could make two loaves and cook longer. Crust reveals cooking time: it should be light golden brown. Ingredients: six cups flour, 2 cups warm water, 1 yeast pack. 15-20 minutes at 375-400 degrees.

Editors Note: some tips:
  • Put the yeast pack in warm water, let it foam in a warm place. This can take time, depending on weather. Then combine a half cup of flour with yeast mixture,  let that sit 10 minutes. Then in a larger bowl, add this to the rest of the flour, mix until flour is fully integrated and knead thoroughly. You don't want yeast bubbles, which only result if you didn't knead properly.
  • Knead with your hands for best results -- you'll get tired using muscles you didn't know you had. 
  • Dust the seal with flour, to avoid sticking, and you press the seal into the formed dough as if you were flattening the dough completely into a pancake. Leave the flour on the bread. (Brush it away after bread is baked and cooled.)
  • After you press the seal, let the dough rise a bit - dough won't quite double. In a drafty house, put the oven on and place rising dough nearby. Surfaces touching bread pans should not be hot.
  • Before placing in oven, poke 6-8 times outside seal area with toothpick. 
  • It's ok to use disposable, round aluminum baking pans.

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