"Tradition! Tradition!!!" Who doesn't remember the song from the classic
movie "The Fiddler on the Roof"? The truth is that no matter what religion you practice or not practice, a little bit of tradition that passes from one generation to another makes a deeper bonding within families, and creates a kind of special connection, warmth, sweetness, and a sense of belonging and continuation...
Every Friday, we bake this delicious braided bread at home. We start early in the morning with the preparation of the dough, and if you come around at noon or early afternoon, you will be enchanted with the warm, sweet and irresistible aroma that invades the whole house!
Now, let me give you the recipe so that you can also enjoy this delicious traditional "JALA" bread...
- 1 kg of wholesome flour
- 1/2 a lt of lukewarm water, or for a better taste, replace the water with milk, preferably the fat reduced one
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 8 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil
- 4 eggs and 2 yolks for the crust
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 10 gr of active dry yeast
- 10 gr of vanilla
- Melt the dry yeast in the lukewarm water or milk, in a small bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the flour. Stir well. Let it stand, covered with a towel, for approximately 15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the remaining sugar, the eggs, the oil, the salt, the vanilla, and the remaining water or milk in another bowl. Put aside.
- Pour the whole flour into a plastic bowl and open a hole in the middle with your hands. Then, pour the yeast dough, (which, by now, has already risen), and the other mixture, (eggs, sugar, etc...) into it. Mix everything very well with your hands. Cover this dough with stretch film and extra towels. Let it stand for half an hour.
- Half an hour later, you will find that the dough has risen up 4 times the size it was before. Work it out again with your hands, (the more you work it, the better it will come out to be). Cover it again and repeat the same procedure once more.
- Now, the dough is ready to get a shape and go into the oven to be baked. Prepare your surface of work by greasing a clean table where you will place the dough. Grease your hands as well. Punch the dough down and knead for a few minutes, (a great way to exercise the arms!).
- Take the dough in your hands and divide it into approximately 12 equal sized balls, (in the size of an apple). Try to give each of them a long, thick cucumber shape.
- Take three of the dough pieces, and by bringing their ends together, start making a braid, (Just exactly the same way you braid hair). Repeat this process with the remaining dough pieces.
- Place the braided loaves on a non-stick baking sheet, a baking paper, or in individual pans for breads. Let them wait for 30-40 minutes more so that they rise again and double their size. Then...
- Brush the top with the egg yolks, and sprinkle sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds on top.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at a temperature of 140 degrees C for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
Hint Every time you make the dough, please check that you are not near a windy or cool place, but rather a warm location, so that the yeast can rise faster.
Dont Be Discouraged if, at the first try, it doesn't become the best bread ever. Don't give up! After a few trials, it will come out super.
"Practice makes perfect", so keep practicing...
NoteYou can also braid this bread in a round shape, in small little "jala"s, or even fill it with chocolate, mastic, nuts or cinnamon.
500 gr of wholesome flour; it can be whole rye,
whole wheat, whole oats, or a combination of all of them
250 gr of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/2 a teaspoon of dry yeast
1 tablespoon of dry thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
Melt the dry yeast with the lukewarm water and
the salt; add the sugar and a tablespoon of flour. Mix well with the help of a
fork until it dissolves well. Let it stand for approximately 20 minutes.
Once it rises, mix with the remaining
ingredients. Stir from the middle, to obtain rough dough.
Transfer to a floured surface, and work until it
is smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover and leave
to rise in a warm place; however, not warmer than 40 degrees C for about 2
hours, (until double the volume).
Pre-heat the oven and place in a greased loaf
pan; bake at 175-180 degrees C for 50 minutes to an hour; turn out to cool.
Decorate with a fresh THYME sprig
Rye and Flax Seed Crepes
In a medium sized bowl, whisk all the ingredients together; cook them one by one on a very hot Teflon griddle or pan.
- 1/2 c rye flour
- 1 egg white
- 1 t nettle seed
- 1 t flax seed
- 3/4 c cashew milk
- 2 T plain soy milk pinch sea salt
- 1 t vegetable oil
Carrote - Orange Muffins
- 1 cup of wholesome flour
- 10 gr of Baking powder, almost a tablespoon
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 big orange's zest, grated
- 2 cups of finely grated carrots
- A pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon salt)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of walnuts
- Beat the eggs with the sugar.
- Add the oil, blend.
- Add the carrots, the walnuts, the zest of orange and the cinnamon.
- Mix with the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Mix very well.
- Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees C.
- Pour the mixture into the muffin cups, paper or silicon.
- Bake for around 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Enjoy these deli muffins! First, the excellent aroma will start invading your home even before they are ready.
- Enjoy the color and eat them without a guilty feeling, knowing you are giving your body only the best ingredients.