Thursday, December 5, 2013

THB : Greek Almond-Crusted Citrus Loaves

It's our bake no. 28 over at The Home Bakers (THB), where we are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas. We are almost halfway thru the book and for this week's bake, it is my turn to select a recipe, and I have selected Greek Almond-Crusted Citrus Loaves. I love almonds and citrus and these combination sounds good to me.

According to the book, "In Greece, this toasted almond and sugar-capped yeast bread rings in the New Year. Imbued with citrus zest, it has a lovely feathery texture and hint of sweetness."

Greek Almond-Crusted Citrus Pull-Apart Rolls

Originally, this bread is shaped into a flat round loaf and placed in a 9" pie pan or a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled in bulk, proceed with the baking and is cut into wedges to serve, white still warm. But I have made them into round pull-apart rolls instead. 

I've made half a recipe. The dough is easy to work with, soft and smells really nice, with the zest from both the lemon and orange. When the dough has completed the first stage of rising, I have divided the dough into 8 pieces, shaped into round balls and placed in a well-greased 9" round cake pan. Cover with greased cling wrap and let rise until doubled in size, as pictured above.

Brush the top of rolls with egg white and sprinkle with flaked almonds and sugar. I have used demerara sugar and left three of the rolls without almonds, as my daughter does not like nuts.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Freshly baked rolls.

Texture of bread is very soft and fluffy. And there are bits of  lemon and orange zest in each roll. Smells so citrusy fragrant. I like the flaked almonds, which added a nice nutty crunch, and some sweetness from the demerara sugar. 

Very good when eaten while still warm, with a spread of salted butter. 

I'm so glad I've made the loaf into pull-apart rolls!  :)

(my measurements in blue is for half a recipe, baked as 8 pull-apart rolls, in a 9" round cake pan)
Greek Almond-Crusted Citrus Loaves
(adapted from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas)
1 package active dry yeast (1-1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F) (2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch (35 gm)
1 cup warm milk (105F to 115F) (1/2 cup)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (60gm salted butter)
1 teaspoon salt (pinch of salt)
2 large eggs (1 large)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (1/4 teaspoon orange extract)
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1/2 tablespoon)
4 to 4-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (2-1/2 cups in total)

Topping :
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
about 3 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds
2 tablespoons Demerara or turbinado sugar

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, add the pinch of sugar; and stir until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, butter, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and salt. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, orange and lemon zests, and 1 cup of flour. Using a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add the yeast mixture and 1 more cup of the flour and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in enough of the remaining 2 to 2-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic; 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft. Place in a buttered bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Lightly butter two 9-inch pie pans or 2 baking sheets. Turn the dough onto a floured board an knead lightly until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Divide the dough in half and place in the prepared pans. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
(Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 80-82gm each, roll each pieces into a round. Place in a well-greased round 9" cake pan. Cover with greased cling wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size. Proceed with the following instructions below).

Preheat the oven to 350F. For the topping, brush the loaves with the egg white and sprinkle with the almonds and sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Let cool, then transfer from the pans to wire racks. Serve warm, cut into wedges.

To view other members' bake, please drop by The Home Bakers (THB).

Welcome to The Home Bakers

We are a group of home bakers who are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas, until each recipe from this book has been baked. This is our bake no. 28 and we have 32 recipes more to go. If you are interested to be a member and join in our bakes, you may drop me an email at


  1. Delicious and wholesome looking loaf. Excellent looking pics.

  2. Hi Joyce
    This looks yummy! I still can't do bread yet :(
    Haven't gotten my bread maker or mixer that can knead bread dough.

  3. Simply beautiful! Perfect for the season!

  4. Lovely! Would make a stellar breakfast!

  5. Wow these look so fluffy and almond is my new favourite flavour at the moment. Really lovely.

  6. Hi Joyce , love the rolls , so light and delicious thanks for sharing :)

  7. Hi Joyce,

    I made this bread in form of bread rolls too. I have replaced the use of butter with rice bran oil and reckon that they are ok to eat... Nothing fanciful and wonder if the use of butter will make any difference...


  8. This look really amazing so soft, so crunchy, so delicious :)))

  9. I now pronounce you the "Queen" of all things yeasty, lol...I love how you add your imaginative touch to all your creations Joyce. These rolls look simply heavenly!!! Thank you so much for sharing...

  10. Joyce, you are right! These are good!

  11. wow... i'm gonna bake this for sure.... i now just pay attention to all the recipes you put up ;)

  12. Definitely on my must-bake list! They look super soft and tempting!

  13. Joyce , those are good-looking rolls ! Love how soft the texture is :D

  14. That looks so soft and fluffy! I love that you've made it into simple rolls, easy to divide:)

  15. I love the refreshing citrus flavours in this soft bread!

  16. I like the shape of your bread here, Joyce! And yeah, they looked cottony soft there!

  17. i cannot remember if i have baked any citrusy bread before..maybe not..will try to make soon :)

  18. Joyce, these buns remind me of the Terenganu roti paung which I have not baked for a long time. If I try this wonderful Greek Almond Crusted Citrus Loaves, I had better do a full recipe!

  19. Love the photo where you are pulling them apart and you can see the citrus zest. Gorgeous buns!