I have always loved making bread. Some of my nicest memories are those of my mother preparing sourdough bread on Saturdays, that we then baked in the wood oven in our garden. She started her preparations the night before, so the sourdough would have enough time to help the bread rise under the blankets in the warmest place of the kitchen (my mother always said: “Do not let the doors open, the bread will get cold”). For this New Years celebration I hope you feel inspired to make my sweet bread, that has a warm, earthy and fantastic smell when it comes out of the oven: Pomegranate-walnut bread with ouzo, honey and pears!
There is hardly any recipe that does not go well with the ruby colored pomegranate seeds. This fruit is a constant inspiration to me these days. Using pomegranate seeds for this sweet bread not only makes it look festive but also adds a juicy, sweet, and fruity flavor to the bread. Just perfect for this time of the year.
This sweet pomegranate-walnut bread is made with ouzo. Yes really! But don’t worry; the bread will not make you drunk! Although you might get a little tipsy from the ouzo you drink while you are cooking this recipe. In case you have finished the ouzo before using it in the recipe, still nothing to worry about; the ouzo can be replaced with milk or water. I definitely prefer ouzo because it gives a nice crunchy texture to the bread and the aniseed taste of the ouzo leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth when eating a slice.
Using pears as an ingredient for bread is not that common. I have chosen pears because I believe it makes a nice combination with the pomegranate seeds. But to tell you the truth there is another reason I chose pears. Thinking of banana bread, but not having bananas around, I used pears instead. My experiment turned out to be successful. As it turned out, both fruits keep the bread moist, have a sweetish flavour and can actually be used in making bread.
Honey has been a dietary base in Greece for thousands of years; it’s so basic and important. Honey has a very long history of being produced, consumed, gathered and stolen. Proof of the use of honey in ancient times is found on several archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean; jars with (still edible) honey were discovered alongside treasures in Egyptian tombs. Traditionally honey was quite often used to sweeten the taste of the bread, for the same reason I added honey to this recipe.
Making pomegranate-walnut bread with ouzo, honey and pears
Let’s make this wonderful recipe! We start by preparing the ingredients. Don’t the pomegranate seeds look delicious and beautiful when you open the pomegranate and take them out!
Make the mixture and pour it into your greased loaf pan, then bake it in the centre of your oven for 50 minutes.
The pomegranate-walnut bread is done when the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. By now your kitchen will smell wonderful!
When the bread had time to cool you can slice it. Take a bite and be surprised by the lovely flavour!
Don’t forget to break a pomegranate on the floor this New Years Eve (according to Greek tradition), for good luck in the New Year! Me, my husband Rik, daughter Dora and the whole Odyssey family wish you a very happy and delicious