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Greek Country Bread (Horiatiki Psomi) Recipe

This is a wonderfully dense and textured bread with a hint of sweetness. This bread requires a starter, so it must be begun the day before serving. It is perfect for dipping in olive oil, soup, or stew; for making sandwiches, and snacking. This recipe makes two nice sized loaves.

Prep time (day before): 15 minutes | Prep time (day of serving):  2 1/2 hours| Cook time:  20-40 minutes |     Yield:  2 large loaves

Greek Country Bread horiatiki-psomi


Bread Starter (day before)

  • 1 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup white bread flour

Bread (day of serving)

  • 6 cups white bread flour
  • 2 cups ground semolina
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Bread starter (prepared day before)


Day Before

  1. Prepare bread starter by putting a couple of tablespoons of 1 cup lukewarm water in a non-metallic medium size mixing bowl.   Mix in the yeast with a wooden spoon, then cover bowl and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rest of the water.  Slowly stir in the flour until fully incorporated.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in warm place to ferment for 24 hours.  (This mixture can ferment up to 72 hours, if desired, for a stronger flavor.  I like the flavor arrived at in 24 hours.)

Day of Serving

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and adjust oven rack to just below middle.
  2. Sift together in a mixing bowl 6 cups of white bread flour, 2 cups of ground semolina, salt, and sugar.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture.  Add 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water, olive oil, honey, milk, and the bread starter.
  3. Mix mixture together with hands until ingredients combined and dough holds together.  If needed, add water a tablespoon at a time to dough.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 3 minutes.
  4. Place dough in an oiled non-metallic mixing bowl and roll dough around to coat all over with oil.  Cover dough with 3 dish towels and place in warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until double in size.
  5. Punch dough down and knead on floured surface for 5 to 6 minutes.  Divide dough into two loaves and form each into an oblong loaf.  Place loaves on a bread stone or cookie sheet, cover with three dish towels and place in a warm draft-free place to rise for one hour.
  6. Make three gashes across the tops of each loaf.   Bake 30 to 40 minutes until browned.  Bread will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.

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