Sunday, September 13, 2009

BBA Challenge: Artos - Greek Celebration Bread

Since I moved to Atlanta/Marietta almost 6 years ago, I never missed going to the Marietta Greek Festival. When they opened the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church about 4 years ago, I finally bought a copy of their cookbook and a bottle of mastic gum, so I could make the Tsoureki that I love so much. Well, life got busy and I never got around to making it. But everything always has a way of falling into place, and so I am happy that the second Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge is the Artos.

I used poolish for my sponge/barm. I prepared it last Friday before I went to bed so that no matter when I make the bread this weekend, I will be okay since it keeps for three (3) days in the refrigerator. The Poolish is alive; it's constantly bubbling. It reminds me of those alien blobs I would see in movies when I was a kid. I had the feeling that if I turned my back, it would jump off the bowl, attach itself to my face and eat me. LOL!

It takes two days to make the bread since you have to prepare the sponge/barm (in this case the poolish) ahead of time, and proofing of 3 to 4 hours. Active time, however is less than an hour.
The smell of the bread while baking is very sweet and distinct. And the taste... hmm... the taste... the texture of the crust is almost chewy, like a fresh bagel, and inside it's soft and sweet and something else... the taste of something ancient (in a very good way), something that has stood the test of time, something ceremonial. Okay, I know I am not making sense, but that's how it tasted to me. I think it is the Mastic Gum that gives it the uniqe taste.

I decided to skip on the nuts and fruits since I will be using it for sandwiches this week. I am freezing half to make french toast when the craving strikes. I will make this bread again, and I won't skip the nuts and fruits next time.

The dough - pre-kneading
Kneading the dough until it is tacky and subtle

Dividing the dough

Oven ready

Final touches

Cooling the bread

Artos: Greek Celebration Bread


  1. Foarte interesat subiectul postat de tine, m-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place ce am vazu am sa mai revin cu siguranta.
    O zi buna!

  2. I will definitely be following your blog...fantastic photos AND bread...yum~