Here is my second bread for the BBA Challenge: a Greek celebration bread called christopsomos.
For this bread, we had a choice between three versions of Greek celebration bread. Once I saw the addition of figs in the christopsomos version, I knew which one I would be making.
This bread begins with a pre-ferment called poolish. It is a mixture of flour, water and yeast that is made in advance and later added to the other bread ingredients. My poolish was a little thicker than a pancake batter - the consistency the recipe stated it should have - though it still worked wonderfully.
There are a number of spices in the christopsmos dough, though I only had allspice and cinnamon, so that's what I used. I replaced the honey with maple syrup and added more zest than the recipe called for. I also omitted the raisins, and used more figs and walnuts.
Peter Reinhart gives special instructions for forming the christopsomos loaf, but I decided to go with a simple braid - for some reason it just appealed to me more... I was very pleased with how it came out - especially since it was my first bread braid!
We loved this bread, and ate it toasted every morning for several days with butter (and sometimes honey). The recipe does say that it's a large loaf, but wow was it enormous!!!
The recipe for this bread can be found in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Next up in the BBA Challenge: bagels!