This is a Eastern Med bread, from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey. I’ve bought it from Turkish grocers in England, but never knew what it was called.
Daktyla apparently means “fingers” in Greek. Supposedly the loaf resembles a row of fingers, or somesuch. Whatever, it’s very pleasant to eat, and visually pleasing for plonking on the table and sharing during dinner.
Here’s the recipe to make one medium-sized loaf.
Small loaf (or use the above and divide accordingly)
5g active dried yeast or 8g fresh yeast
175g strong white flour
32g wholemeal flour
33g cornmeal flour, eg masa harina
3g (1/2 tsp) fine sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp runny honey
2 tsp milk
1. Activate the yeast in the water for 10 mins.
2. Mix the flours and salt in a bowl, and make a well.
3. Pour the water into the flours.
4. Blend half of flour into the water to make a sponge. (Alternatively, just mix half the flours with the water/yeast keeping back the other half of the flour).
5. Cover with cloth and leave the sponge for 30-60 mins, until bubbling nicely.
6. Mix the olive oil, honey and milk into the sponge.
7. Blend the remaining flour into the sponge and bring together to make a soft, moist dough.
9. Rest for until doubled in size (1 1/2 hr), in bowl covered with damp cloth.
10. Turn out, deflate gently, form into a ball and leave to rest for 10 mins.
11. Divide the dough – if you’re using the bigger quantities, and want a bit loaf, divide into 6. If you’re using the bigger quantities, and want two smaller loaves, divided into twice. If you’re using the small loaf quantities, divide into 6 equal pieces. (Do with a weighing scale if you want to be accurate).
12. Form the pieces into balls and leave to rest for 10 mins.
13. Shape the balls into ovals/rectangles.
14. Place the ovals in a row on a floured baking sheet, leaving a slight gap between them.
15. Cover with cloth and prove until doubled in size – maybe 45 mins.
16. Preheat the oven to 230C.
17. Brush with milk, sprinkle with sesame seeds then bake for 25 mins, or until nicely browned and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.