Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Vasilopita--St. Basil's Bread

Originally uploaded by sanfranfamily.
And here's Paul's second Vasilopita! Beautiful, huh? Though the bottom tore out when I took it out of the pan. And the (offending?) pouch of Bob's Red Mill yeast in the background. I've recommended Bob's yeast for years because it's the only really reliable yeast I've found.


Huw Raphael said...

Two suggestions: try using a very large coffee can to make a sort of cookie cutter: this will mean you don't need a pan to make a perfectly round loaf.

And then - line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Also, I use a spring form cake pan to make round loaves... and I also line that with parchment paper: very useful for avoiding sticking - and much better than any non-stick pan or using grease to oil up the pan.

Elizabeth said...

We used our one springform pan to make the first loaf. It came out easily since I could use a knife to separate the ring from the bread, take that off, then use a knife to separate the bottom from the loaf.

I don't usually have such problems with sticking though, except when I was a more inexperienced baker. Usually when a loaf is done it retracts from the pan slightly making it easy to remove. But the weird rising of this one plus the egg wash you use for a vasilopita made it more difficult. I may use parchment paper next time I make Vasilopita. I also usually use the recipe for stuff to grease a pan with from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book--which is lecithin and oil blended together--but since I just moved I didn't have any on hand and didn't have time to make it. It is a very effective pan greaser, though!

Next on my agenda: to make my family's traditional New Year's Cookies, which aren't cookies at all but raisin fritters. It's a Mennonite tradition. They're yeasted too....but aren't quite like bread.....maybe I'll go ahead and use the yeast I have on hand and see how it does. I'll be sure to post about it! Who says these things have to be made on New Year's Day? :-P Oh, when I post about it I'll hopefully have the German name for them, too. It's something like portzelke--that may be it.

Mimi said...

Maybe there's a difference in elevation between San Fransisco and Portland that have changed yeast amounts?

I don't know, I tend to be a breadmachine dough maker and then just stick it in the pan to bake.

Elizabeth said...

The elevation is different--San Francisco is basically at sea level, and Portland is at about 700 feet, I think. But I baked bread with no problems in Dunlap, at 2000 feet. And I made two successful batches of bread before this one in Portland!

I guess I'm just going to try again.