Greek bread comes in many shapes and sizes, from round and braided to the hollow pita. It also includes a variety of ingredients, including feta, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Some Greek bread is made only for certain holidays or at certain times of the year. The bread can be sweet, salty or savory. There is Greek bread for nearly any occasion and one that can be paired with any type of dish.
One of the most well known types of Greek bread is the pita. This is unleavened, round wheat flour bread. During the cooking process, steam from the inside of the bread causes it to puff up and create a hollow center. Pita bread is usually cut in half and used to hold food in the pockets as a sandwich. It also can be cut into wedges and toasted to be used as a vehicle for dips or spreads.
There is a type of Greek breadstick called a bastounakia. These are thin strips of bread that have been topped with salt. Like pita bread, they are often used to carry dips, spreads and other appetizers from the table to the mouth.
Bobota is a type of Greek bread that is made from cornmeal, water and honey or orange juice. It was created as a recipe of necessity when Greece's poor residents found it difficult to find more traditional ingredients. It is crumbly bread that is often cut into squares and served with syrup on top.
A popular type of Greek bread is known as horiatiko psomi, which means "country bread". This is dense bread that is made from more than one type of flour and is sometimes made with a sourdough starter. The rustic loaves can accompany many types of meals and goes well with a variety of savory appetizers.
Tyropsomo is a special type of bread. In addition to the standard bread recipe, feta cheese is added to the dough. The result is bread that has a rich texture and a hint of the tang that feta cheese provides.
Greek bread known as mavro psomi, or black bread, is not actually black, unless food coloring is added. It usually is not wheat bread, though. Instead, this term refers to breads made from rye flour or oats. Dark breads are uncommon in most of Greece.
There are three types of Greek breads that are made only for specific holidays. The first is called christopsomo and is leavened bread with lemon, almonds and raisins made only at Christmas. The second is made for New Year's and is sweet bread with a tight crumb called vasilopita. Finally, tsoureki is made for the Easter holiday and is a braided, circular loaf that is flavored with the sap of a bush that grows in the region. As well as baking special breads for the holidays, there also are accompanying traditions that are observed when serving and eating these breads.