Taste of Cyprus Local Food Koulouri – finger bread

Koulouri – finger bread

Thrash (or blend in a mixer) the mastic with the sugar and the mahlepi (if you can’t find it already pounded). Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl and add the yeast, mastic, lemon rind and mahlepi. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the oil. Rub it with your palms until the oil is absorbed and the mixture is consistent. Add the milk and ½ a cup of water. Kneed the mixture until it becomes smooth and elastic (if needed add a little more water or flour). Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set aside in a dry place until it doubles in size. Check if it’s ready by pressing down on it with your finger. Your finger must leave an imprint behind (it will make a small pit). Divide the dough into three parts and shape it into 3 elongated breads. Wet them slightly (cover them with a damp cloth), and sprinkle them with sesame seeds on both sides. Spaciously place them on an oven dish and with a knife, cut diagonal scores all the way across the bread, about 2 – 2 ½ centimetres apart from each other without cutting through to the bottom of the breads. The bread must keep its shape. Cover the breads with a kitchen towel and let them rise for about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C. When the oven is hot, cook them in the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes, until they turn golden brown.

(Traditional bread. The name «finger» was given to this bread because it is divided into strips)

Ingredients:

½ kg flour + more to spread on the working bench
1 packet yeast
½ cup lukewarm milk
½ tbsp sugar
½ cup water (approx.)
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
½ tbsp pounded mαhlepi
2-3 pieces mastic
1 tsp lemon rind
1 cup sesame seeds (approx.)

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