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Kouloura (Cypriot Bread Ring)
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This Cypriot bread is also popular in Greece.
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active dry yeast
Sift the flour into a bowl and warm in a slow oven.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, add the remaining water, milk, salt and sugar.
Remove about 1 cup flour from the bowl and reserve.
Pour yeast mixture into centre and stir in enough flour to thicken the liquid.
Cover and leave in a warm place until frothy.
Stir in the rest of the flour in the bowl, adding oil gradually, then beating for about 10 minutes by hand.
Knead in the reserved flour by hand either in the bowl or on a board.
Just add enough to stop the dough sticking and knead until smooth and sainy- about 10 minutes.
shape into a ball.
Oil the bowl, add dough smooth side down and turn over so that the top is oiled.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Punch down and turn onto a lightly floured board.
flatten out into a circle and then roll up firmly.
roll back and forth with palms of hands so that it form a thich rope 50 cm long, tapering in at each end.
Lift onto a greased baking sheet and form into a ring, overlap ends and tuck under loaf.
cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Brush bread with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a moderately hot oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked.
Cool on a rack.
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