This bread is simply wonderful! I mean, could there be a more perfect combination? Feta & Bread. Enough said. It's really healthy too, since I make it in mostly whole wheat flour. Not only is it great to eat just as is, but it's a wonderful sandwich bread as well. Can you taste the flavor?!
Just go ahead and make it! Make extra, it's addictive!
The best part about this recipe (other than the extremely delicious factor) is that it can be frozen :) Since this recipe makes a pretty big batch, 9 little spirals, bake as many as your family will eat and freeze the rest for when that craving hits.
I love the heartiness that whole wheat flower adds to this recipe. You can make it exactly like I do or switch it up a few different ways:
1) with all white, unbleached bread flour
2) with all whole wheat flour (it will be more dense and not as light, but still yummy)
Here's my recipe:
Makes 9 little spiral loaves:
3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached white bread flour
3 and 1/2 cups warm water, or more if needed (100 degrees)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 heaping teaspoons yeast
feta cheese, as much as you like
freshly chopped rosemary
Mix the yeast in the warm water.
Place the flour and the salt in a pot, large bowl or bucket. It should be able to hold 6 quarts. Mix well with a whisk so that the salt gets incorporated.
Add water and yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands. You do not have to knead this dough. Just mix until everything is incorporated making sure that the dough stays wet and sticky. Add 1/4 cup of water if needed. If you are using half whole wheat flour, you will need to add water.
Once it is all mixed, cover loosely leaving some room for gases to release. Leave it alone to rise, undisturbed for about 2 hours.
Put the container in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight.
The dough will stay fresh up to 8 days. It's a good idea to make a double batch if you plan on making fresh bread often during the week. The longer it stays in the refrigerator the more sourdough flavor will develop.
When you are ready to bake a fresh loaf of bread, take about a large grapefruit sized ball of dough out from the refrigerated mixture. Form it into 3 round balls. Each ball will create 3 feta filled spirals of bread. So keep that in mind. The entire batch of dough will make a total of 9 spiral loaves which you may bake in one day or you may freeze for a later time.
You do not have to utilize all of the dough for this recipe. You may save it and make a whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread or whole wheat Italian bread.... Do this by storing the remaining dough back in the refrigerator until ready to bake :)
Cut each round ball of dough into 3 equal pieces and dust with some flour if they are too sticky. Set them aside to rest covered with a clean kitchen towel for 15 minutes up to 1 hour. The closer the dough is to room temperature, the easier it will be to stretch out and fill.
Once the dough has rested, dust your work surface with very little flour and roll it out into a long oval about 12-13 inches long. If the dough has rested for a long time, you will be able to stretch the dough easily with your fingers by pressing it down and pushing it as I did in the video demonstration. You may also use a rolling pin if you prefer.
Sprinkle some oregano on top of the dough and crumble feta down the center of each strip from top to bottom. Be generous :)
Fold the dough over the feta and pinch the edges all around with your fingers. If you have applied too much flour and it is not sealing, wet your fingers and then seal it all around. Keep it in the shape of a long strip.
Sprinkle the freshly chopped rosemary over the strip from top to bottom.
Roll the dough from the bottom going up to form a pinwheel. Just like you would roll up a cinnamon roll :)
Repeat this process with all of your dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle some semolina flour where you will place the pinwheels.
Put the pinwheels on the baking sheet over the semolina flour and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set them aside to rise for about 1-1 and 1/2 hours, depending on how warm your home is. They will almost double in size.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees while the dough is rising. Remember to set a cast iron pan either on the bottom rack or on the flour of your oven. It is also a good idea to keep a pizza stone in there also. It helps make for a bakery quality bread.
Freezing instructions: You may freeze the extra feta bread dough that you have prepared before it rises. Just place it in a plastic freezer bag and into your freezer. When you are ready to bake it, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and then place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with semolina flour on top. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for about 1-1 and 1/2 hours or until almost doubled in size and then follow the remaining baking and cooling instructions.
While the dough is resting and rising, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place a cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven. Place oven tiles or a pizza stone near the middle of the oven. Make sure that the oven preheats for at least 35 minutes. Longer is better!
When the dough is ready to bake, brush the tops with some water and sprinkle some sesame seeds over the tops with some more rosemary.
Place your baking sheet with the bread in it in the oven and pour a glass of ice water into the cast iron skillet that is on the bottom of your oven. This will create steam, so be careful.
Close the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 450 degrees.
Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the bread from the baking pan and place it on the oven stone or pizza stone and bake it for about 5-7 more minutes or until the bread emits a hollow sound when you knock on the bottom of it. If you do not have a pizza stone, just let it continue to bake in the baking sheet until ready.
Note: Baking time varies depending on the size of your loaves of bread. Smaller loaves will cook faster and larger ones will take some extra time.
Remove from oven when ready and let it rest and cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
This feta bread tastes best warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight bag or container and reheat in the oven until warm again before serving.
Makes 20-22 standard sized cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon red food color
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cream cheese icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Note: If you do not have buttermilk, you can make this easy substitute: Combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and let it stand at room temperature for one hour. Voila!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the buttermilk, food color with vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk well to incorporate.
Add the sifted flour mixture and whisk to combine. Do not over work the batter!!!
Divide the batter evenly in the lined cupcake tin, filling each three-quarters full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
If your oven does not cook evenly, rotate the trays after 15 minutes of baking.
Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack completely before icing.
To make the cream cheese icing beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar a little at a time while beating on the lowest speed and add vanilla extract. Increase the speed and beat until light, smooth and fluffy.
Pipe a swirl of icing over the cupcakes using a pastry bag or just use a small offset spatula to spread the icing on the cupcakes.
Makes 4-6 (depending on your cookie cutter)
1 sheet Frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup apricot jam
6-7 fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced
confectioners sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and prick all over with a fork.
Top with a second sheet of parchment paper.
Place 2 baking sheets on top or 1 baking sheet with a ceramic pie dish to weigh it down.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: Halfway through baking remove the trays from the oven and push them down to flatten the puff pastry sheet more if it puffed up too much. Place it back in the oven topped with the baking sheets and make sure to cook it until it is nicely golden brown so that it will be flaky and not hard when it is assembled.
Once the puff pastry is completely cooked, remove from the oven, uncover and allow to cool completely before cutting.
While the puff pastry is baking prepare the pastry cream and allow to cool completely. You may also prepare the pastry cream a day before.
With a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many hearts as you can and carefully (with a spatula) set aside.
Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a big star tip with the pastry cream.
Place about a half teaspoon full (depending on the size of your hearts. Use more or less according to your taste) and spread it carefully with an offset spatula or knife over the surface of the puff pastry heart.
Top with sliced strawberries and pipe pastry cream over the berries. I like to pipe the cream in a "V" shape.
Repeat the same process with a second heart.
Top with a third puff pastry heart and dust with powdered sugar.
Repeat the process until all of your Napoleon hearts are complete.
Makes 6 (4 ounce) Ramekins:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
6 ounces good quality semi sweet chocolate (you may substitute dark or use half dark half semi sweet)
5 egg yolks at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
a pinch of salt
For the Orange Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled very cold
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: Make sure to zest the orange before juicing it :)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Bring milk, cream, sugar and salt to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk well to melt chocolate.
Whisk the yolks with the orange juice and vanilla extract.
Slowly add one ladle full at a time of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs to temper them (raise their temperature so that they do not scramble).
Pour the mixture through a strainer over a spouted pitcher.
Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill them with the chocolate mixture.
Pour steaming hot water in the roasting pan so that it goes halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custards are almost set in the center. They will continue to thicken as they cool.
Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. They taste delicious cold.
Before serving, make the orange whipped cream by whisking the cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until thick and fluffy. Fold in the orange zest.
Note: the cream whips up much faster if the cream, bowl and whisk are very cold, so you can stick everything in the freezer for about 15 minutes before whipping.
Dollop some whipped cream over the custards and either shave some chocolate on top or sprinkle some cinnamon over the whipped cream.
1 pound strawberries, washed and completely dried
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or your favorite nuts (optional)
Bring some water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place a heatproof bowl with the chopped semi sweet chocolate over the simmering (not boiling) water. Make sure that the bowl is not touching the water or the chocolate will burn!!!
Stir the chocolate until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and stir in the oil. Allow to cool a bit.
Melt the white chocolate the same way in another bowl without the addition of oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dip the strawberries one at a time in the semi sweet chocolate and then place them on the parchment paper.
Dip a spoon or fork in the melted white chocolate and drizzle it over the chocolate covered berries.
Dip the tips of the berries in the chopped nuts if you wish.
Allow the chocolate to set for about 30 minutes.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes so that the chocolate may harden a bit.
Note: Do not keep refrigerated longer than that or the chocolate will begin to sweat and can also crack.
Makes 2 and 1/2 cups:
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a saucepan, bring milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
In the meantime, combine the sugar, corn starch, cream and egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk together for a few minutes until thick and pale yellow.
Slowly, pour the hot milk in the egg mixture one ladle full at a time while whisking.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
Strain the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate until cold.
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!