Queuing at the To Stachi Bakery to pick up your loaf of bread in the morning is a mouth watering experience. The smell of freshly baked bread wafts out into the street and tickles everyone's noses, irresistibly calling them to the shop.
This sensory marketing advantage steps into a higher gear when you step over the threshold because even your eyes will betray your efforts to watch your waist line! Surrounded by delicious looking desserts that are just the right size to pop into your mouth whole, shiny baklava bursting with nutty goodness dripping with syrup, flaky breakfast pastries, and the delicious bread balls rolled in seeds ... the onslaught is so overwhelming that it is almost unfair!
To Stachi Bakery is a family run business. Mr & Mrs Aklyros will greet and serve you in the shop but these days it is their son Stephanos who handles the daily (well nightly) baking on the premises.
Depending on the time of year, Stephanos and his small team, can be baking from 2 in the morning until the shop opens at 7:30. Now that Stephanos and his wife have a couple of toddlers, I am not sure how or when he gets any sleep but is always happy and enthusiastic still!
Bread making starts with delivery of pallet loads of good quality brown and white flour supplied from the mainland as Hydra doesn't have large enough cultivated fields to grown its own wheat anymore. A few centuries ago, the island did grow enough grain to feed 20,000 people and used about 20 windmills to grind the flour. You can see the ruins of many of the old windmills still. But today there aren't enough inhabitants to farm, and so the ingredients are imported.
Stephanos works with his team in the kitchen behind the shop so your bread travels all of 5 meters from the oven to the shelf so you can buy it while it's still warm and fragrant if you get there early enough in the morning.
The kitchen is well organised but the floor has a constant dusting of flour so everyone 'shuffles' carefully!
Stage 1 is to mix the ingredients then to cut the dough into the sizes required and then leave it to proof.
Next, the dough is punched down, hand rolled and shaped. At this stage some of the loaves are rolled in poppy or sesame seeds. Then the uncooked bread is laid out on what looks like a large stretcher.
Stage 3 is to wheel the trolley into a cabinet where the dough is left to rise for about half an hour before going in the oven.
As well as making daily loaves, Stephanos and the family also make rolls, soda bread, and wedding feast bread with the traditional stamps. They also make a delicious range of cakes and sweet breads as well as very tempting and tasty traditional baklava and really good mini ice creams that you can buy by the kilo which are made by a Greek company.
Crispy, nutty and extra syrupy! Baklava is a delicious traditional Greek dessert made of layers of crispy golden brown phyllo, filled with chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachio, almonds) and garnished with scented honey-based syrup… Just heaven!
The traditional Greek Baklava (baclava) recipe has its roots in ancient Greece, where they made the ‘gastrin’. One thing all these Greek desserts have in common is of course the moist of scented syrup, which makes each one irresistible.
Contact: Stephanos Aklyros
Telephone Number: +(30) 22980 54084
Address: To Stachi, Hydra Harbour, Hydra 18040
Open All Year
07:30 - 16:00, Everyday
Please contact Stephanos for any advance orders for picnics, wedding bread, celebration cakes, etc.
The To Stachi Bakery is at the end of the narrow lane (too small to be shown on the map) between the 21st Century fashion shop and the Greco gold shop. You'll find it just after the Hellenic Seaways dolphin ticket office.
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