Greek Easter bread or Tsoureki is baked by millions of Greeks and Orthodox Christians during the Spring Holiday. See all ingredients and recipe below...
- 15 cups of flour http://amzn.to/Zx1NbY
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar http://amzn.to/179Vdzt
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 1/2 envelopes (6.25 tablespoons) of yeast http://amzn.to/179VqTq
- 3 1/2 cups of milk
- 4 eggs
- Almonds- blanched, browned and coarsely crushed http://amzn.to/179VKBr
- 1 tsp. of mastic
- 1/2 tsp. of mahlepi (an oriental seed-type herb) http://amzn.to/179VVNe
1. Dissolve the yeast in a little warm milk and add 3-4 tablespoons of flour.
2. Leave the yeast to rise in a warm place. When it has risen sufficiently, put the rest of the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.
3. Put the yeast mixture in this well.
4. Warm in a saucepan the rest of the milk, the sugar, the eggs and the mahlepi (if you are using it), and half the butter. Combine well.
5. Slowly pour half this mixture in the bowl with the flour and yeast.
6. Knead well.
7. Melt the rest of the butter and keep it aside.
8. Add the rest of the mixture (eggs, milk, sugar, mahlepi and butter) to the flour and the yeast mixture.
9. Continue to knead, greasing your hands with the melted butter, which you set aside.
10. The dough should be a good consistency, neither stiff nor runny. More flour may be needed if it is runny.
11. Place the dough, covered with a clean cloth, in a warm place to rise.
12. When it has risen enough, it is ready.
13. Separate the dough into 3 thick strips and make the bread into braids, circles or what ever shape is desired.
14. Paint the bread with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle them with almonds.
15. You may place a red boiled egg at one end for decoration.
16. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Red eggs are usually woven into the dough, a practice that probably dates back to very ancient times.