Psomi has been the main staple, especially in frugal times, when the Greeks would survive on a thick chunk of it with either cheese and a few vegetables or a bean soup and then dip the bread in it. Psomi is a delicious, crusty bread.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted warm butter or 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon fine semolina (durum flour; use masa harina or cornmeal in a pinch)
Preparation time 150mins
Cooking time 185mins
Adapted from food.com
Sift flour into a mixing bowl and place into a low oven to warm.
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, then stir in remaining water, salt, and sugar.
Remove flour from oven; take 2 cups of flour from the bowl and set aside.
Make a well in the remaining flour and pour in the liquid; stir in a little of the flour until the liquid gets thick, then cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until the mixture is frothy, about 10 minutes.
Stir the rest of the flour into the liquid, and add the butter/oil gradually, beating with a wooden spoon or mixing with your hands until smooth (about 10 minutes), or alternatively, use a dough hook/mixer for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle a little flour onto a board, and turn the dough out; gradually mix in some of the flour you had set aside earlier.
Only knead in enough to keep the dough from sticking; dough is ready when it is satiny, and the surface is slightly wrinkled; shape into a ball.
Oil the dough, and place in bowl, making sure the top side is oiled completely; cover bowl with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Punch down and make into 2 pieces; turn onto floured surface, and form each into a torpedo-shape.
Grease baking sheet and sprinkle with semolina; place the dough well apart on the sheet and cut 4 diagonal slashes across the dough; cover with a cloth and allow to proof in a warm place until doubled again, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place a dish of boiling water on the bottom of the oven; spray bread lightly with a mister and bake in preheated oven for approx 35-40 minutes; after first 15 minutes, mist again with water, then again 10 minutes later.
Cool on a rack when done.