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Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread Recipe

Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread Recipe

“Christopsomo” (Χριστόψωμο) in Greek means “Christ’s Bread” and this is why the bread is decorated with a cross.

Christopsomo is considered very sacred in Greek households and is made with great care to ensure a blessed New Year.

It is usually prepared the day before Christmas Eve and is served at the Christmas table.

The householder cuts the pieces of the bread by hand, as it is said that no knife should be used.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1kg of flour
  • 18g of yeast
  • 40g of honey
  • 50g of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 100g of walnuts, chopped
  • 20g of anise
  • 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water

Decoration

  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 20g water, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 walnut (whole)
  • 1 egg
  • 2–3 handfuls sesame seed
  • 250g of all-purpose flour
  • honey (for glaze)
Method 

Dough

  1. Start by preparing the dough. In a bowl add the water, yeast, and sugar. Mix with hand whisk until the yeast dissolves. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for about 10 minutes, until the yeast rises.
  2. Add the flour, honey, olive oil and cinnamon. Using the dough hook, mix at medium speed for about 5-10 minutes, until all the ingredients are combined.
  3. Add the anise, walnuts, and salt. Beat for 1 minute, until combined.
  4. Lightly coat the dough with olive oil and cover the bowl with kitchen towel. Set it aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until it doubles its size.

Decorating dough

  1. Now prepare the decoration dough. In a bowl add the water, olive oil, milk, flour and salt. Using the dough hook, mix for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
  2. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.

For the Christopsomo

  1. Deflate the dough by lightly pressing the dough down with your fingers and shape into a round loaf.
  2. Line a round baking pan (28-30 cm).
  3. Transfer the dough into the baking pan and spread. Lightly brush the top with some beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
  4. Remove the plastic wrap from the decorating dough and cut it into 6 equal pieces.
  5. Shape each piece into a long rope and then form 2 braids.
  6. Place the 2 braids over the Christopsomo and shape a cross.
  7. Place the whole walnut in the centre.
  8. Cover the Christopsomo with a towel and wait for the dough to rise for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  10. Place the dough in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, until the Christopsomo is nicely coloured and cooked through.
  11. When ready, remove from oven and immediately brush honey over the Christopsomo.

Wonderful Christmas Traditions of Greece

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