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Koulouri Mou!

I was very happy to discover a recipe for Koulouri on Le Pétrain. Koulouri is a Greek bread I fell in love with ever since I went to Athens. It is originally a bread shaped as a loaf stemming from Cyprus. But in Athens it is commonly sold having the shape of a thin doughnut, and somehow, it is the Greek Bretzel, a bread anyone could eat any occasion, a casual and handy snack. They are sold in bakeries and on the street, even very early in the morning in front of nightclubs.
Nevertheless, Koulouri is totally different from Bretzel, and even from doughnuts although they have a similar shape. Koulouri is a light brown bread covered with sesame seeds and has a slightly sweet taste without being buttery or salty like Bretzels.
So I had to try to bake some myself. The recipe from Le Pétrain is for the Cypriote loaf shape bread, but I just followed it and made several rings out of the dough. I left out the cumin though, because I didn’t remember tasting it when eating Koulouri in Greece.
In the end the bread tasted good but it wasn’t quite the same than what I had in memory; in fact the sweetness was lacking. I tried to think of a reason it tasted different. Maybe the cumin is essential for the recipe after all, I thought? Or I should have put some sugar for the sweetness? Also, I felt I put a little bit too much yeast since I could still taste it in the finished bread.
Nevertheless the Koulouri made my day and I savoured them with a Greek salad (Horiatiki) and some wine of course.
But if anyone could give me a recipe for the genuine Koulouri rings which are being sold in Athens I’d be thankful.
Kali Orexi!

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Categories: Food,Greece
  1. avital (guest) Said,

    Hi Alexis!
    Thank you so much for having tasted this recipe and giving it a feed back. Maybe next time, you should try adding 1 Tbsp honey if you like your bread lightly sweet and some anise seeds which will give aroma to the bread and also a little bit of sweetness. I hope this way will work better for you!
    thanks again

  2. alexis2 Said,

    REPLY:
    merci pour les conseils supplémentaires. Le plaisir était de mon côté!

  3. Lisa (guest) Said,

    Hi Alexis!
    I am greek and I was surprised to see how popular koulouri can be to non-greeks. You’re right by saying that is very casual snack….I remember we used to eat it also during the break at school and it’s a snack that bounds together many generations and it’s a kind of common memory….My grant parents ate it, my parents, too and my generation also….. As far as it concerns the taste and the lack of sweetness I think maybe it’s not only a matter of dosages but also of the quality and type of the ingredients. Sometimes the flour, the oil or even the water can completely change the flavour of the food. I wouls have never thought that the water is so important untill I found out that the owner of an italian restaurant in Athens imports and cooks only with italian mineral water…….Anyhow, I have never heard of the use of cumin or other kind of seeds to make the koulouri. If I find any valid recipe I will post it for you. Kalispera!

  4. alexis2 Said,

    REPLY:
    Thanks for your comment Lisa. Actually I’m a quarter Greek too, but I only discovered Koulouri when I came for a visit to Athens 2 years ago and really loved the taste. The sweetness has to come from some ingredient I believe. Anise might be the one I guess. Anyhow I’d be glad if you found out the “true recipe” for me/us.
    Kalispera kai kali Orexi ;=)

  5. Lisa (guest) Said,

    Hi Alexis,

    I found a greek recipe from a famous greek cook that she’s always on the greek TV…I send you the link of koulouria recipe – she uses sugar indeed. The only problem is that the text is in greek and I’m still in the office and I can’t traslate it right now…So, I send it to you anyway, in case you can read greek. If not, let me know and when I have time I can translate it for you! Kalispera!

    http://www.vefashouse.gr/vefashouse/cur_recipe.asp?rdept%5Fid=2&recipe%5Fid=1025&flag=1&flag%5Ffind=1

  6. alexis2 Said,

    REPLY:
    Thanks a lot Lisa, very useful, and I think I get the Greek!
    Geia Sou

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