When you approach our bakery you will feel an overwhelming desire to get closer as the aroma of our freshly baked bread is irresistible proof of its flavour. At our bakery you will find products that are fresh because they are baked on the premises with only the finest ingredients throughout the day. You will discover a huge selection of breads, cakes and savouries as well as traditional Cypriot, French and German breads and Lebanese pitta breads. All products are baked from the purest ingredients without preservatives, just as our grandmother used to make them.
You will also find a great variety of sweet or salty foods. At the Christmas holidays you will find delicious Honey Cookies (Melomakarona), Date Stuffed Pastries (Finikota), Greek Shortbread Cookies (Kourapiedes), Christmas and New Year’s cake (Vasilopita) and at the Easter holidays you may find our traditional Easter Cheese Pies (Flaounes) and tasty buns in great variety.
On a daily basis you may find a great variety of tarts, cakes and preserves.
All about bread
Bread, which is not well understood by many people, is one of the most important foods. Most people avoid it in order not to gain weight but also because we believe that it offers us empty calories. But bread is very good for you. Therefore see what we gain when we enjoy our bread, when we have to limit its consumption but also what kind of bread we must prefer when we follow a slimming diet or when we face specific health problems. Get to know also all the myths that have, at times, been spun about this nourishment and find out which nutrients each kind of bread contains.
Positive aspects of its consumption
- Bread is one of the most basic items of our food consumption. It is a fact that it lies at the basis of the Mediterranean diet together with other starchy foods.
- It provides energy to our organism as well as vegetable fibres, complex B vitamins and especially folic acid, proteins and iron, necessary ingredients for the functioning of our organism.
- There are various kinds of bread from which you may choose. Prefer whole meal bread as it offers more natural vitamins and vegetable fibres but also because it is useful in overcoming health problems such as indigestion, cardio-vascular dysfunctions and hypercholesteranaemia. The reason lies in the vegetable fibres it contains. According to research, brown bread seems to contribute to the protection of the large intestine from cancer. It is also recommended by nutrtionists for persons following a slimming diet because thanks to its vegetable fibres it causes a feeling of satiety.
When should I limit its consumption?
- Bread should be restricted only when facing specific health problems as, for example, saccharine diabetes. This does not mean that if you are a diabetic you are not allowed to eat bread at all but that you have to include bread in moderation in your diet after consulting your doctor. For diabetics whole meal bread is more suitable followed by rye bread.
- Also if you have to avoid salt because you suffer from hypertension it is advisable to limit your consumption of bread as it is a good source of sodium and you should also prefer bread without the crust where there is more sodium.
- Whole meal bread should be avoided on certain occasions by persons who suffer from spastic colitis as it is difficult to digest as well as by persons suffering from hemorrhoids …
- If you have an overweight problem there is no reason to exclude bread completely from your diet. You simply have to enjoy it in moderation.
3 myths around bread
1st myth: Bread is fattening
Fact: Bread is necessary for us whether we are on diet in order to lose weight or not. Bread is not fattening if you follow a balanced diet. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can eat as much bread as you like but that you should not omit it from your diet. Even the way we eat our bread is often responsible for the extra calories that we take in as bread often becomes the means of consuming great quantities of butter or oil or we combine its consumption with pasta etc. In any case, if you have no overweight or health problems you may consume 3-4 slices of bread every day without any fear.
2nd myth: Brown bread has fewer calories
Fact: Both kinds of bread (white or brown) have almost the same quantity of calories and they have low fat content when we do not add butter or oil in their preparation. Their difference lies in their glycemic index. Whole meal bread has a lower glycemic index because of a higher content of vegetable fibres and its unprocessed nature. This means that after its consumption a small quantity of insulin is secreted gradually by the pancreas, i.e., the levels of sugar in the blood do not increase abruptly. Insulin is a hormone that besides metabolizing sugar sends a message to the cells of the organism to store fat independently of caloric value. Why then is whole mean bread considered good when you are on diet? Perhaps because it is healthier.
3rd myth: White bread is not nourishing at all
Fact: White bread is really a kind of danger signal for many nutritionists but it is not without its uses in a good diet. White bread has its advantages: it forms a good source of carbohydrates that give us energy whilst it contains very low fats in comparison with other foods. In certain nourishing ingredients it is even superior in comparison with certain other kinds of bread (for example, it contains more calcium than brown barley bread). Especially today we have the capability of enriching bread with nourishing ingredients. White bread, however, contains a lower quantity of fibres in comparison to brown bread and less vitamin B or iron.
The most popular kinds of bread that you may find at ALPHAMEGA:
Village bread: It is a very popular kind of bread that is prepared with yeast and flour without bran.
Whole meal: It comes from whole meal flour. This means that the whole cereal is being grinded, i.e., the seeds of wheat together with the bran.
Multigrain bread: It is made of flour of various cereals (wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice). Usually one adds dry fruit, oats flakes, bulgar wheat etc.
Rye bread: It is considered that, like whole meal bread, it is good for diabetics as it has less starch. It is a fact, however, that it contains more proteins than wheat bread. Often it is made of rye or wheat flour. Bread made out of pure rye is very heavy.
Corn bread: In the preparation of this type of bread a mixture of white and corn flour that has yellowish colour is used.
Other breads: At our bakeries you will find various kinds of bread containing other ingredients such as seeds and spices, olives, nuts and raisins.
What does bread contain?
In making bread it is possible to use a small quantity of sugar in the yeast in order to make it inflate more easily. It also contains salt, flour (according to its kind),
Water and yeast.
|Nutritional information per 30gr (1 slice)
|Vegetable Fubres (g)
Organic bread: Among other organic products in our supermarkets you may find organic bread. It is free of chemical substances and preservatives. Our bread makers keep them in a natural manner until you consume them. For its making one uses hard whole meal wheat. Organic bread has a shorter expiry period before consumption.
Important information from our experienced bread makers
What is “regular” bread?
“Regular” bread is what we call brown bread, i.e., whole meal bread. White bread is processed. There is of course brown bread which is not whole meal but has colour added to it during its preparation and this happens in certain pre-packaged breads. In order to be sure that the pre-packaged bread you buy is whole meal it should always bear the phrase “whole meal” on it. Whole meal bread consists of unprocessed wheat with the whole quantity of its peel where most of its vitamins and trace elements are to be found. Naturally, you should not forget its vegetable fibre content.
Crust or crumb?
It is a matter of taste. Crumb gives a sweet taste to bread whilst the crust makes it a bit harder. There is no other reason to remove the bread crust. Many people, however, remove the crumb because they consider it fattening but in reality it has about the same calories as the crust. The crust is more digestible and has a higher glycemic index, therefore, prefer it if you have any indigestion or hypoglycemic problems.
How to store bread?
Avoid placing bread in the fridge as it loses its freshness due to loss of humidity. Keep it covered at room temperature. If you want it to be kept for a longer period of time put the loaf in the freezer. It is very easy to realize whether bread has gone bad as it develops moulding which can be detected very easily.
Make the home bread (Dhactylies) that we recommend easily and tastily!
This is a basic recipe for one kilo of flour. If you decide to warm up the traditional oven of the forecourt of your house, something that requires labour and time, it is natural that you would use many kilos of flour to make many koulouria. With one kilo of flour you get two large long and narrow loaves or four smaller ones, which you mark to make them into dhactylies. An electric oven should be preheated and the bread baked at 180°C for about an hour.
- 800g village flour (yellow)
- 200g whole meal flour
- 200g fine semolina (you can find it imported)
- 1 cup of yeast
- 3 cups of lukewarm water
- 2 levelled teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey
- 1 levelled teaspoon of ground anise
- Little crushed mastic
- Little crushed clove
- 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds, toasted and added to yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sesame, extra
- 1 tablespoon of washed anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon of mavrokokos (for sprinkling on koulouria)
Spices may be omitted, according to taste. For successful baking, the quality of flour is important and not only the yeast or the traditional oven.
First step: Kneading
Knead the yeast from the previous evening, i.e. dissolve yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm water and add ½ levelled teaspoon of salt and then the flour. Knead into smooth dough. Gradually add 3 cups of flour and form into a ball. Put it in a basin whose bottom you previously cover with a little flour. Cover with a cloth and leave overnight. Sesame can also be prepared ahead of time. Boil sesame seeds for five minutes; drain and sprinkle with little lemon and then rinse well with cold water. Drain sesame and place in a napkin to dry. Wash the crushed anise and mavrokokos and add to the sesame.
Second step: Kneading and molding
In the morning, the yeast is inflated and bubbly and it has a slightly sour smell. Add lukewarm water and salt and dissolve the yeast. Gradually add flour and knead until it doesn’t stick to the hands in order to have a hardish dough. Reserve an egg-size piece of the dough for new yeast for the next kneading. Add toasted sesame, honey and remaining spices and knead again. Divide the dough into two and make two big loaves. Cut loaves with a knife along its length at a distance of two fingers. The koulouria will become double in size when the dough inflates.
Place the loaves on a woolen piece of cloth and cover with napkins (or a sheet if they are quite a few) and top with a blanket so that they will inflate.
Third step: Firing of the oven
Before the loaves inflate, ignite the oven using dry twigs and bushes collected the previous day for easy igniting. When the fire turns into burning charcoals, draw the charcoals to the opening of the oven and, with a wet piece of cloth tied to a long wooden stick, clean the floor of the oven.
Fourth step: Baking in the oven
To check whether the oven is ideally heated, throw a little bit of flour on its floor. If the flour burns immediately, it means that the oven is too hot and the bread will burn. For this reason, clean the floor once again with the wet piece of cloth. When the oven is ready, put the loaves or dhaktilies on a special oven-shovel and place the loaves quickly on the oven floor. Close the oven door and wait for the bread to bake. The loaves are done when they become brownish in color. Remove from the oven and cover well until they are cooled..