Christopsomo – Greek Christmas Spice Bread

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Christopsomo - Greek Christmas Spice Bread

These sweet breads are eaten at Christmas in Greece. Zakynthian Christopsomo or Christmas bread has been compared to the Italian "panettone", which it also resembles in appearance. The Ithacan kouloura is made of the same dough but in the shape of a large ring.
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Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Author: The Cook

Ingredients

  • 1 kg flour
  • 30 g fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon dried yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm red wine
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup sultanas (golden raisins), raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • peel of 1 orange, finely chopped
  • peel of 1 tangerine, finely chopped
  • cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon anise, optional

For the decoration

  • sesame seeds
  • whole walnuts, roughly chopped
  • sugar
  • coloured sprinkles, if available

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre
  • Put the yeast in a glass with the warm water and leave for a few minutes.
  • Stir the yeast and water until the yeast dissolves and then pour it into the flour together with the warm wine. Mix and knead well.
  • Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Bake for about 90 minutes.
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