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Greek Easter Bread

Yordanka KovachevaYordanka Kovacheva
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Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Greek Easter Bread
Image: Yordanka Kovacheva
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17/12/2023
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Preparation
20 min.
Cooking
30 min.
Тotal
50 min.
Servings
10
"This Greek bread is so delicious that we can eat it absolutely every day"

Ingredients

  • flour - 1 lb (450 g) + for additional mixing
  • eggs - 4 (the one for spreading)
  • fresh yeast - 0.7 oz (20 g)
  • milk - 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)
  • butter - 3.5 oz (100 g) at room temperature, very soft
  • sugar - 3.9 oz (110 g)
  • cardamom - 1 tsp. grains
  • mahleb - 0.2 oz (5 g)
  • orange peel - 2 tbsp. finely grated
  • orange juice - 3 tbsp.
  • ouzo - 1 cap
  • sliced almonds - for sprinkling
  • painted eggs - 3 for decoration, red
measures

How to make

The Greek Easter bread called Tsoureki has slightly unique flavors that are specific to it.

Like any other traditional baked goods, Tsoureki has different variations and interpretations, according to the taste and traditions passed down in each home.

Apart from the aromas, it is also typical of this sweet bread that it is decorated with red Easter eggs, sometimes even baked together with them. In this version, however, the bread itself is colored by the dye, which, although we know it is harmless, we may still choose not to do so, but to decorate with the eggs only after it is ready.

The first step to develop the flavors is to grind the sugar, orange peels and cardamom seeds together.

Dissolve the yeast in the slightly warmed milk (37°C, no more) and let it activate for 8-10 minutes.

We sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle, into which we pour the slightly beaten three eggs (and maybe the white of the fourth, because in the end only the yolk will be enough for spreading. If you put the white, the amount of flour will also increase a little, but you can judge when kneading afterwards and you will sprinkle as much as you need).

Pour the activated yeast, grinded flavored sugar, ouzo, mahleb and soft butter into the well where the eggs are.

We knead the dough, which we transfer to a floured surface and work with it until it stops sticking, becomes elastic and we see clear gluten bonds.

Shape into a ball, place it in a bowl and cover with cling film. Wait for it to rise for an hour and 20 minutes.

We divide the risen dough into three equal parts, form a strip from each one.

We braid the three strips into a braid and let it rise again for 30-40 minutes. Now is the time to put the dyed eggs on top if we want to bake with them and have them placed into the Easter bread.

Spread with beaten egg and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

We bake in an oven heated to 340°F (170°C), inserting the tray with the Greek bread when the temperature is still 120°F (50°C). That way it will keep rising.

Baking time is about 30 minutes or until a nice dark golden brown is obtained.

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