Psomi spitiko

Daniel and Luke Mancuso’s Yiayia still uses the original dish she brought with her from Greece to Australia to make this simple bread. It was a gift­ from her mother, who packed it in Yiayia’s suitcase among her clothing.

Makes 3 small loaves


30g fresh yeast or 3tbsp instant dried yeast
900g special white flour or OO flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading
1 tsp canola oil
¾ tsp salt


Fill a kettle with water, bring to the boil, then allow the water to cool to lukewarm.

Place the yeast in a jug, add 80ml of the lukewarm water and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, oil and salt, then gradually add 50ml of the lukewarm water, while mixing together with your other hand. Continue to mix until well combined, then transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface.

Knead for about 10mins, dusting with more flour as you go, until the dough is so‑ and bounces back when you press a finger into it. Roll the dough into a ball.

Lightly flour a bowl that’s just larger than the dough ball, then add the dough, cover with a clean tea towel and tuck in the sides. Wrap the entire bowl in another tea towel or small towel to keep warm, then set aside in a warm place for about 50mins, until the dough has risen to the top of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Lightly flour a large baking tray with low sides.

Dust your work surface again with flour, then turn out the dough and knead for 5mins or until bubbles appear on the surface.
Tear the dough into three pieces, then lightly knead each piece and roll into balls using well-floured hands.

If you have a patterned embossing tool, lightly press it into the top of the dough balls, then prick each ball with a toothpick at the top, bottom, left and right, and then once in the centre.

Transfer the dough to the prepared tray with space between each ball of dough. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes, then transfer to the oven and cook, rotating the tray occasionally, for 25–30 minutes or until the bread is lightly golden and there is a hollow sound when it’s tapped on the bottom.

Allow to cool slightly and serve.

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