If you love the bread rings known as Koulouria Thessalonikis, these will rock your world! Crisp on the exterior and stuffed with feta cheese. You can substitute kefalotiri, goat cheese, mozzarella, or even combine your favorite cheeses to make the most delicious bread rings. They’re great for brunch with some smoked salmon and cream cheese. You’re gonna love them.
- 1 and ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ cup water, lukewarm
- 2 cups all-purpose four
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Petimezi (grape must) plus 3 tablespoons water
- ½-1 cup sesame seeds
- For the cheese filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 7-8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- If grape must (petimezi) is hard to find, you may substitute with pomegranate molasses, honey, or just use plain water to brush the tops of the bread rings.
- Place the yeast, water, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour in the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Whisk together and set aside to proof. About 8 minutes. You will know that the yeast is activated when a cloud appears on top of the liquid.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix together.
- Add the flour mixture to the yeast along with the oil and knead on low speed for 8 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled mixing bowl and cover with a towel or with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume. About 1 – 1 and ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F, 230°C.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and cut into 10 equal pieces.
- Press each piece of dough out with your hands into a circle. Stretch it as large as possible without tearing the dough.
- Cut the cream cheese into 10 equal portions.
- Crumble the feta cheese into a bowl and season with the oregano.
- Spread the cream cheese on half of the dough and sprinkle with some feta cheese.
- Fold the other half over the cheese and press down with your hands.
- Roll the dough into a rope and twist. Join the two ends together to form a ring and place each ring on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some room between each bread ring as they will rise while in the oven.
- Combine the petimezi with the water in a small mixing bowl and brush the tops of the bread rings with it.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake one tray at a time in the center rack for about 20 minutes or until the bread rings are golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then serve. Enjoy!
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