Kouloura (Cypriot Bread Ring)

READY IN: 2hrs
YIELD: 1 loaf




  • 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.