The recipe for Mom’s bread is to me a family treasure. Mom makes it for occasions such as Christmas, New Year, Easter, for my kids Baby Showers and also to welcome us every time we travel back home. In other words, it is a quite special to me and since last Christmas was the first time I travelled back to Canada since I started this blog, mastering Mom’s bread recipe was a must. It basically is a Eastern European type, artisanal loaf. For years I was intimidated by fear of failure, but in the end, it really isn’t rocket science, especially after mom explained that the secret ingredient, which is the combination of years and a touch of baking powder, is what makes the magic happen every time.
4 cups of bread flour
1 1/4 Tbs dry yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg at room temperature
1 cup plain yogurt at room temperature
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
2 Tbs sunflower or canola oil plus more for greasing the pan
For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
Make the dough: In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, baking powder salt and sugar and mix well.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and oil. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the mixture. Knead the dough for at least 10 – 15 minutes, until smooth and soft. Oil your hand if it is a bit sticky and don’t add more than 2 tablespoons of extra flour or your dough will become too dense. Cover with a towel, put in a warm and free of draft place, such as an oven, and let the dough raise for 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Shape the Bread: Grease well a deep,12’’ round baking pan and set aside. Oil your hans again. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and cut it in 16 pieces. Press each ball of dough between your palms to flatten it, then fold it once and roll it to create a flowerlike shape. Start arranging the pieces in the pan in a circe, by leaving a 1/4’’ between them to allow then to raise again.
Cover the pan with a towel, put it back in the oven for about 45-60 minutes or until the gaps have closed.
Take the dough out of the oven and preheat it to 200C/400F.
Bake: Brush the bread with egg wash and bake for 25 – 35 minutes in medium position, or until golden and cooked through. When ready the bread will feel much lighter when you lift it and a toothpick will come out clean. If it starts browning before it is fully cooked, cover it loosely with foil and continue baking.
Invert the bread over a kitchen towel right away to avoid it sweating inside the pan. Let cool slightly and enjoy.