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Friday, October 8, 2010

Oia and My Dream


Santorini, Athens, Delphi…. I have been to these wonderful places…. in my dreams. The eternal dream that revives and keeps me anticipated of joy, beauty, and the excitement of traveling has always been about one same place…. Greece. As a teenager I had watched “Summer Lovers” in a theatre and being instantly introduced to one of the most beautiful place of the world: Oia, Santorini. The mesmerizing scenes of white washed houses, blue domed churches, steeples, bells overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean Sea have been staying in my mind ever since, and have never been replaceable or comparable to anywhere else in the world.

Well, I don’t mind waiting. In my dream, I want to go there when everything is right and I have my loved one to share this trip. I don’t mind working and saving money for years and yet wishing that one day I will eventually go to Greece. As I have set it as my utmost destination for so many years, the thrills have been greatly accumulated and in that way, I constantly look forward to it.

So when recently I stumbled into Kalofagas – Greek Food and Beyond blog. I spontaneously felt hooked. Peter, the blogger has described so much about Greece and its food and culture, and revealed that “while Athens is the capital city and heart of Greece, Thessaloniki is the belly, feeding Greece with its sophisticated and diverse cuisine…” (Source: So this piece of information put Thessaloniki as the Greek food exploration spot in my Greece itinenary.

Peter also included Koulouri and shared its recipe in his post. Apparently this very delicious- looking white-sesame-coated bread ring is the typical breakfast ritual of many Greeks who want a quick bite on the way to work in the morning. And appreciating the photos in his blog was not good enough, I had to bake these rings and tasted them on my own. At least I would have an idea how a Koulouri might taste like.

Meanwhile, I am delighted for winning DMBLGIT September 2010. Thanks to Harini of Tongue Ticklers for hosting this great event and many gratitudes to judges: Thorsten Kraska of My2Penn'orth, Veronica of Edes es Keseru, and Karen Low of Citrus and Candy.

So without any delay, I printed the recipe and baked with high enthusiasm. Well, if you understand the baking mood that I had in that moment, you would fully comprehend why on earth I had come out with a variety of coatings. For all of you who are into Greek food and culture, don’t miss Kalofagas!

KOULOURIA (Adapted from Kalofagas)
Makes 9 pieces

- Dry yeast > 4 g
- Honey > ½ tablespoon
- Warm water > 135 ml
- Fine sea salt > 3 g
- Olive oil > 22 g
- All purpose flour > 245 g

- Extra water > for coating
Coating options:
- White sesame > 50 g
- Mixed dried fruits – cut into chunks > 50 g
- Dried cranberries – cut into chunks > 30 g
- Crystal sugar > 30 g
- Apricot gel > to brush on coating

- Combine honey, 45 ml of warm water, and yeast in a big bowl. Stir with a spoon and leave for 10 minutes to activate yeast.
- Add sea salt, olive oil, 90 ml of warm water, and 70 g of flour at a time whilst mixing the dough with your hands. Continue adding flour and mixing until the dough is no longer sticky.

- Knead dough for 10 minutes. Form into a ball and rub the surface with some olive oil. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rest in a warm place for an hour until dough becomes doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 230 C.
- Punch the dough with your fist and turn the dough onto the working surface. Cut dough into 50 grams pieces. You will get about 9. Roll each into a shape of a 14 inch rope with your hands. Lift it up with two even ends hanging down. Now twist the bottom and top with your hands to form the braid. Repeat for the rest.

- Place water in one plate and sesame in another. Dip the braided dough into water and then sesame (or mixed dried fruits, or dried cranberries with crystal sugar). Place coated dough on baking sheet.
- As the oven reaches 230 C, place a tray of hot water on the lower rack and place the baking tray in the middle. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just golden.
- Brush with apricot gel. Cool on wire rack.


  1. A wonderful post and fabulous photos. Delighted to have transported you to Greece - you seemed to have embraced this magical place.

    Excellent photos and I love the Koulouria with dried fruits....playful without deviating too much from the recipe. Thank you for the mind mention!

    PS. edit the link to the Koulouria recipe (k) is missing.

  2. Beautiful photos ant the recipe!!!
    Cakes look very tempting....

  3. I've been to Greece and I can tell you that it is a dreamlike country! I hope you'll be able to see this place once in your life...

    Peter's blog is awesome and your Koulouria are so pretty and tempting!



  4. Your posts are always so beautifully written and photographed! I perfectly understand what baking with your heart can do to your finished product.
    The KOULOURIAS are adorable and sound very yummy!

  5. DMBLGIT? Again ? OMG ... !! you are so talented photographer, Im not surpraise anymore since you always spend such a great time with camera and the result ?? look at all the nice pictures above. They are very pretty.

    Everytime I look your food pict, especially today, i always say 'let me make this too', keep take nice picture, Kris. :) And I wish your dream to visit all the beautiful place will granted ..

  6. ups, in that methode, you mean : combine yeast ? because you wrote honey 2times :)

  7. Kris, lovely and amazing post. Just Love it!!

  8. GORGEOUS! These little bread rings look delicious! At first I thought they were bagels:) Congrats on another award for your BEAUTIFUL photography, Kris!

  9. Kris, what can I say? I always enjoy the visual feast I get from your blog!! Inspiring, inspiring! :)

  10. gorgeous photos. i hope you get to go to beautiful greece. it's funny though, i think a lot of people feel that way about paris! i agree though that dreams are better when you have to wait and work for them. then they are all the more satisfying.

  11. Fun idea to use cranberries, but I must admit I like the simplicity of the sesame seed koulouria best!

  12. Its delight to read and look this post. Excellent photos and I love Santorini, also. This is something that relax me and I would gladly try this beautiful pastry...

  13. Congrats on the win and this is certainly a appetizer in advance of your eventual trip to the lovely country of Greece. I can't wait to see the stunning photos you take when you eventually go there. In the meantime, I'll enjoy these :).

  14. de belles photos et une magnifique recette
    bravo et bonne soirée

  15. I'm going straight to the blog you mentioned.. I love Greek food and all things Greek. These rolls look delicous. They will be my breakfast next weekend! And the photos are excellent as usual! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Congratulations on the award! You deserve it! I love your post on Greece and it's my ultimate travel destination too!

  17. COngratulations!! IT´s yummylicious!!!

  18. thanks Kris for stopping by my blog and following! Hopefully i will have a few goodies soon. I have been so busy :)

  19. Peter is the original God of Greek food IMHO, and you've done great justice to him and his delicious blog.Gorgeous post Kris, and beautiful pictures as always. You are very very talented dear girl, and have a fine senses of balance and aesthetics!

  20. Kris, congrats on your award and well deserved. I'm not sure what Koulouria is but they sure do look delicious. I'm going to KIV in my "to do list".

  21. Congratulations on your well deserved win! Greece is on my must visit list too. These look like a fun, delicious way to start the morning.

  22. What absolutely beautiful cookies. They look bejeweled, fit for royalty. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  23. These rolls look gorgeous, and I would like one right now with my coffee! Congratulations on the award--it is certainly well deserved!

  24. Those are fantastic! I'll bet those would be perfect served at a Christmas brunch. Nice job :)

  25. Beautiful clicks and congrats on the DMBLGIT award! Greece is somewhere I wish to go too, someday.

  26. Congratulations on winning again, Kris. And you shall have your dream, I know.
    Never seen kouloria looking so beautiful. Yes, Peter does have an excellent blog on things Greek, especially the food. Have you tried his spaghetti with brown butter? Yum!