Some of my favourite baking memories are from my grandmothers’ kitchens. Pedantic, effortless and full-of-magic baking parlours…There is so much to remember: feelings, smells, images and knowledge.
One of the things my paternal “Gizi mama” grandmother used to make was the so called bread, “kukoris”. She prepared them for family and friends and she loved it. Not with “for the first sight, romantic, fancy” love but just with a humble, strong, caring heart, a heart that was always there for you. It had special meaning to us.
I had not discarded my past but brought it with me into my modern life. I grew up with farmer grandparents, eating this delicate, crumbly bread, and there just can not be a good enough variation to transform “kukoris” bread that was originally deeply simple, economical food, long before commercially available fluffing up bread packed with yeast without love. Family recipes twist and turn, starting in one place and changing through generations and migrations, transforming into something new.
But not this bread.
1 tbsp sugar
1 kg flour
2 tsp salt
30 gr fresh yeast
50 gr butter
600-700 ml milk
3 tbsp oil
Mix yeast, sugar with 600 ml warmed up milk, and let it bubble up. Sieve the flour, mix in the salt and combine it with egg, yeast mixture and more milk if needed. When it is well mixed, knead in the butter and oil. Form a ball of dough and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Knead it again and then divide into two balls. Let it rise for a further 30 minutes.
Finally, cut a raised piece of dough, punch it down, cut and shape it into two long strips. Twist the two strips together in a criss-cross pattern and coil it into a ring. Let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
Finally apply egg wash and bake, for abut 30 minutes .