Bread for Litya (Artoklasia) and Artos (at Pascha)
To make about five sets of five 1.75 inch loaves, or one 8-9 inch loaf.
2 packets dried yeast (make sure it is not out of date)
1 cup HOT (about 105 F) water
1 T sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, a little pulp doesn't matter
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (canola, safflower, sunflower)
2+ tsp cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp fresh orange zest, grated
1.5 tsp natural vanilla extract (not artificial vanillin!)
Approx 6 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
D. (Quantities variable)
2 T orange blossom honey
1 tsp dark molasses
1 tsp water
(Dash orange flower water)
Proof yeast/water/sugar (A) in small bowl.
1 ) Mix items in B in separate medium sized bowl.
2 ) Mix items in D in small bowl.
3 ) When yeast is proofed, add A to B. Mix well.
4 ) Add A/B to C. Mix well and knead till smooth, adding flour to make a stiffish, but not overly dry, dough. Cover and let rise in warm place till doubled, about one hour.
5 ) Punch down, allow to rise till doubled again, about another hour.
6 ) Roll out on very lightly floured surface to about 3/8 inch thickness, allow to rest 3 minutes so gluten relaxes. Cut to desired size with donut cutter (sans "hole maker"), inverted glass, etc.
7 ) Place roundlets on baking pan (not a glass or dark surfaced one, though, or bottoms will over-brown), apply or inscribe Cross design (see below) cover and allow to rise once more. After 1/2 hour, preheat oven to 350F.
8 ) Place loaf/ves in oven when temperature is reached. Bake loaf/ves till done (approx 25-30 minutes for small loaves, 40-50 minutes for single large loaf).
9 ) Remove from oven and immediately glaze with D. Cool on rack. Loaf/ves can be wrapped and frozen when thoroughly cooled.
Note: A Cross is either inscribed or applied (in the case of the Artos) to the top/s of the loaf/ves. To apply design to large Artos, reserve a small amout of the dough after second rising, and shape into "ropes".
Wet top of loaf and bottom of design to be applied, and place design pieces on loaf. Oftentimes this design will tend to brown more quickly than the rest of loaf; to deter this one can place aluminium foil over design after it reaches sufficient doneness.
To inscribe a design as for little loaves used at Litya, either scissors or a sharp knife is used; but the cuts must NOT be made TOO DEEPLY lest the loaf spread too much.