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Christopsomo- All In The Spirit of Christmas



Christopsomo 1

Christopsomo (Christ’s Bread) is  the traditional Greek Anise flavored Christmas Bread.  Baking a Christopsomo is considered a religious task in an Orthodox Greek household. The baker begins by crossing himself & asking for blessings for the household. The bread is baked on the Christmas eve and eaten on the day of Christmas. Only the best and the most expensive ingredients are used to bake this bread. Ropes of dough are used to adorn the bread with cross. Unshelled walnuts are used for decorations too. Here is the original recipe, I have almost followed it all except for the glaze.

We do not celebrate Christmas in a religious sort of way, but definitely join in to the holiday spirit of sharing & giving and the festivities & of course the Tree & Santa Claus. What is Christmas to children without the beautiful surprises left under the tree by Santa. Besides, it is a very god time of the year to have them see & thank for all that they have….A lot of care have been taken to do the tree in our home and the children are trying to be at their best behavior:-) The gifts that they want have been decided on, the note to Santa has been mailed. Here are my 2 little elves.. I caught them working on our Christmas tree one early morning.

I am sending this picture to the Decemeber Edition of “No Croutons Required” hosted my Holler & to Purva’s Festive Event..

Coming back to the  recipe….

Ingredients:

  1. 8 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon of salt
  3. 2 tablespoons of dry yeast
  4. 1 cup of warm water
  5. 1 cup of warm red wine
  6. 1/2 cup of olive oil
  7. 1/4 cup of orange juice
  8. 1/4 cup of brandy
  9. grated peel of 2 oranges
  10. 1 cup of sugar
  11. 1 1/2 cups of raisins
  12. 1 1/2 cups of walnuts, coarsely chopped
  13. 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  14. 1 tablespoon of grated gum mastic or 1 tablespoon of crushed anise seed(I used Anise)
  15. 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  16. 1.5 teaspoon ground cloves
  17. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Glaze & Garnish

  1. 2 Tablespoons Honey (approx)
  2. 1 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  3. Sesame seeds (I haven’t used this since at the last moment I saw my stock was empty)

Preparation:

Mix the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of flour, stir until dissolved and set aside for 10 minutes, until it bubbles.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the salt with 2/3 of the flour. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining warm water, and the wine. Mix until a soft dough forms, cover with a damp towel, and set aside to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, until it doubles.

Punch the dough down and knead for several minutes. Sift in the remaining flour, add the oil, orange juice, brandy, and grated orange peel.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, gum mastic or anise, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until blended, and add to the dough.

Knead well until the dough is firm and doesn’t stick (about 10-12 minutes), cover, and allow to rise for 1/2 hour.

On a greased baking pan, shape the bread into two circular loaves, about 8 inches in diameter. Cover, and place in a warm place to rise again, until doubled in size.

Pull out 2 big fistfuls of dough and divide into halves. Roll 2 long strips with each one of them and make a cross on each circular loaf. Decorate with walnut halves.

Place a pan with at least 1 inch of water in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 375F. Place the bread in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove the pan with the water, reduce heat to 325F  and bake for another 25-30 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.

Whisk the honey and lime juice, & brush on the loaves for the glaze. Sprinkle the sesame seeds.

Wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year!

Wrap it up when completely cool. This bread will store for a couple of weeks. Its been a week for me & it tastes better as it matures…

This is being sent to the the BBD #15: Festive Breads being hosted at Annarasa & originally started by Zorra, to Santa’s Holiday Challenge hosted by Tasty Treats & also to Susan’s WildYeastSpotting and Holiday Yeastspotting.

Another Mention…. Jayashree of Sinful Indulgence has presented the

Award to me. Thanks a bunch Jayashree! I am thrilled!!

Related Posts:

Spiced Sweet Rum Bread
Spiced Apple Ginger Bread

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29 comments to Christopsomo- All In The Spirit of Christmas

  • mohana

    Well well ! You are indeed so globalised in your recipies ! I am amazed – You have now added Greek Bread !! wonderful !
    ..what a treat to the eyes ! Those must be your kids decorating the Christmas tree ! love to them !

    Thanks for ur appreciation Mohana:-) yes those are my girls.

  • Sorry but I love those two little elves more than the bread… they are adorable!
    The bread looks awesome.

    Anu don’t be sorry, I agree with u:-) LOL

  • The bread looks very good Soma. Your kitchen would have had a fantastic aroma I guess.

    Thanks madhuram… I love the smell of fresh baked bread.

  • .Chritopsomo looks too gud nd different.Im new to ur beautiful blog…thank uuuuuu so much for ur comment. TC

    Thanks Tina! U have a lovely blog ..

  • Cham

    Two little elves re so sweet! Gal the bread is gorgeous!

    Cham Thanks:-)

  • wow.. all your breads are so rich and unique.. where do u get such recipes? very nice soma.

    Thanks Mahimaa. I pick a bread I want to bake & I google and look for a recipe which I Like & which I can adapt to suit my taste. I started baking very recently, so I still cannot make up my own breads:-)

  • Tomar kochi duto ki mishti ! Chobita ki cute! :-)
    Ar bread ta ki dekhte hoyeche! Oshadharon Soma! :-)

    Sharmila, Thank you:-)

  • wow this is absolutely awesome Soma. I loved to see ur little ones.

    Thank you Shibani:-)

  • bread looks so beautiful nice recipe sure will try and tell u thanks for the recipe and u have a lovely place and great recipes have to try some

    Thanks Rekha!! I’ll be very happy …

  • sra

    That looks delicious, Soma! I like the Christmassy pics. And your elves look so cute!

    Thanks! They are cute (but more of naughty elves…)

  • That is a very rich bread…love the elves

    It was indeed a rich bread.. But i love the fruits & nuts in it:-)

  • Ur kids look truly adorable and the decoration looks authentic and pretty….Bread looks rich in flavours….
    Thanks for the lovely entry

    Thanks Purva! & Thanks for offering us the opportunity to submit!

  • This combination of ingredients sounds magical and what a lovely and festive loaf!

    Thanks Susan!

  • Looks like you made a few of those loaf, can i have one please, they looks so gorgeous and delciious.
    Youtwo little elfs look so sweet in the same pyjamas :-)

    Yes you can have one!! & the “few” loaves? that was the biggest mistake. Since i knew nothing about this bread, I followed the recipe without thinking…. & ended up with these 2 HUGE loaves which we now cannot finish!

  • Lovely and perfect Soma, I too had posted bread today.Thanks for this recipe.Amazing and perfect

    Thanks! your bread looks Lovely!

  • This time all I could notice were the little elves! How cute:) I am just loving all these flavors everyone is coming up with! The bread looks great too:)

    Thanks Harini! They sneaked out on me, but I could not resist taking a picture of them unaware..

  • Thank you and a merry christmas and Happy New year to you as well dear Soma. The little elves look so engrossed and makes a beautiful picture. The Chritopsomo looks awesome (new learning for me).

    Supriya Thank you! The bread was new for me too. I jsut googled a recipe.

  • I love that the cake has yeast and not eggs, it looks scrumptious.

    Your elves are the cutest of all, and what a darn good job they have done with the tree :) A very Happy Christmas and Holiday season to you and your family Soma. I’ve been lazy for no reason, I have photos ready, half drafted posts in the box, but somehow no new posts :( May be the new year will bring in the charm :)

    Thanks Priya! hey they I did help them with the tree.. or rather they got to help me this year. We had fun!
    Well take a break… I am in that mood now.. but I feel if I get lazy, I will not be able to get back..

  • the cake is incredible..but not as much as the little elves,,they’re like little angels:)

    Thanks Rashmi! Angels? Naaaaa… We call them “little devils”

  • sniff sniff…i can smell the fragrance of anise till here…lovely one!

    Lol…:-)

  • Wow awesome cake recipe. Love the nutty taste. Christmas tree looks rocking.

    Thanks Lubna!

  • Awwww, look at your two little elves, just adorable!

    The cake needless to say, looks pro and so delicious. Glistening, soft and light!

    Thanks a lot Supriya:-)

  • Your bread looks delicious but those two little ones stole my heart. How beautiful!

  • Gotta love spiced and heavily studded breads like this. I’m sure my family will enjoy something like this.

  • The bread looks great!

  • With bread like that and such helpful little elves, what more could one want?

    Best wishes for the festive season and a Happy New Year.

  • PG

    what a cute picture! The bread look really good, so soft and fruity. I have been wanting to make some sweet bread too, you are tempting me to make one too.

  • What a wonderful looking Christopsomo…a belated Merry Christmas!

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