Ingrients & Directions

4 c Unbleached, all-purpose
1/2 c Lard, shortening, or butter
Melted and cooled
1/4 c Feta cheese, crumbled and
Mashed into a paste
1 ts Cumin seed, ground
1 ts Anise, ground
1 1/2 c Grape juice, purple or white
1 pk Dry yeast
8 Bay leaves

1) Place the flour, lard, mashed cheese, ground cumin and anise,
and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Blend well. Add the grape juice
and mix the dough well for 2-3 minutes until all the grape juice is
absorbed and evenly distributed. The dough will be damp and sticky,
but no internal dry areas should appear by the end of the mixing. If
they do, mix a few minutes more or add a little more grape juice and
mix again.

2) Let the dough rest 5 minutes. Now sprinkle 1 or 2 tbsp. flour
over the dough and knead, either in the bowl or on a lightly floured
surface for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and
only slightly sticky. Add more flour if needed. Let the dough rest
2 minutes.

3) The dough should now be very smooth and easy to handle. Knead
30 seconds more, return the dough to the bowl, cover the bowl with a
dish towel or large plate, and let rise at room temperature for at
least 3 hours.

4) Sprinkle top with flour, punch down, and form the dough into 4
rectangular loaves (4 in. by 2 in. by 2-1/2 in.). Place two bay
leaves on the bottom of each loaf, and lay them, leaf side down, on a
greased cookie sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour,
until well risen.

5) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35 minutes, until the
loaves are brown on top and make a hollow sound when tapped on the
bottom. Serve when cool. NOTE: To make these breads without
leavening, omit the yeast, knead the dough thoroughly, then bake at
350 degrees for about 2 hours. They will be chewy and moist, and very
foreign to our taste. The Romans thought unleaven bread was manlier
and much better for the digestion.

4 servings