A crispy crust and a perfect crumb of cheese, herbs and citrus
Bread is life. We don’t care how many diets exist which denounce bread as an evil scourge on waistlines, we love it. For us, bread is what makes a meal complete, like when we make green beans with potatoes and use bread to sop up all of the delicious sauces. Or when we finish our horiatiki salad and use bread to soak up the liquid left behind; olive oil, oregano, the juices from the tomatoes and little crumbs of feta. Divine. Life is too short to be denied carbs.
Every once in a while our parents would take us to a local Greek bakery to help select a dessert to bring to a dinner party or gathering. Usually they would make and bring along their own galaktoboureko, baklava or melomakarona, but occasionally our parents would be too busy (because they were also bringing along some homemade spanakopita or keftedes) to do so. We would walk into the bakery with them and be overwhelmed with the sights and smells of all the delicious Greek desserts, breads and snacks. Our parents would typically ask us to choose a variety of small, individual serving size cakes (glyka or γλυκά), often 8 – 12 in a box. This was so exciting…shopping for sweets! We were sure to select vanilla cakes, kok, cream-filled pastries, chocolate mousses and anything else that made our box of cakes a sight to behold. The only thing better than selecting the pastries was receiving these boxes of glyka when we had company over. Well before dessert was served, all the kids would sneak into the kitchen, snip the ribbon which tied the box closed, lift the lid with great anticipation, excited to see what joy lay within the box, and then quickly call dibs on the particular piece of dessert that we wanted.
As we mentioned when we first introduced Our Kouppes, many of the recipes we will feature here are heavily influenced by our parents and Greek cuisine…but not all of them. This particular bread recipe for example, although heavy with Mediterranean elements like Kalamata olives, feta, and oregano has very little to do with our parents. In fact, this bread is brought to you because of a man hero named Jim Lahey.