Image from http://www.monastiriaka.gr/
With the Sveti Nikola slava approaching on the 19th December, I thought it would be handy to share my simple recipe for holy bread AKA 'Prosphoron' or 'Nafora'. This bread is neither made with nor baked with any fat or oil, and is also offered at the Divine Liturgy (church on Sunday morning).
- 1 packet of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar
- 2 1/2 cups of warm water
- 6 cups of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- Prosphora seal (optional)
1. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar and stir until dissolved. Leave to rise.
2. Combine 5 1/2 cups of flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour in yeast and remaining warm water. Optional: add a few drops of holy water. Combine well.
4. Sprinkle remaining flour over a chopping board and knead dough for 10 minutes, adding as little additional flour as possible to the board. Dough should be soft but not too sticky.
5. Put dough into a large bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until double in size.
6. Sprinkle board with a little flour, punch dough down and knead for 15 minutes. Dough should be firm and smooth.
7. Form into a large round loaf and place in a well floured 12 inch round pan. Lightly flour the top of the loaf. Optional: decorate with sesame seeds, or use Prosphora seal. Flour the seal and press down firmly in the centre to make a sharp impression on the dough.
8. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.
9. Remove seal and bake at 180 degrees for 1 hour or until a light brown colour.
10. Remove from pan to cool.