Tsoureki – Traditional Greek Easter Bread (looks like Swiss Zopf, tastes different)

 

It is Greek Orthodox Easter this weekend! And traditionally, people eat Tsoureki, and of course lots of other culinary delights. The amazing fact about Tsoureki is, that you can keep it for a week and it won’t dry out.

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For a loaf of about 600 g:
500 g white flour type 405 or 505
100 g sugar
20 g fresh yeast
125 ml fresh milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of ground Mastika
1 teaspoon of aniseed
Grated zest of a lemon
50 g butter
Vanillaseeds

Egg yolk and milk
Optional: almond flakes

Put the flour in a bowl and make a hole, add the yeast and milk and let rest until the yeast has dissolved. Add all the remaining ingredients and knead well, add flour if the dough remains too sticky. Let rest for 45 mins in a warm place.
Knead a few more minutes, adding flour if needed.
Cut the dough in two parts, roll each one into equally thick strips of about 50cm, then braid them. Let rest again for 20 mins. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200c.

Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush over the loaf. Add almonds if you want. Bake for about 45 minutes. Traditionally, a hard boiled egg, colored red is placed on the loaf as well prior to baking. I skipped that part as I had no more eggs left:-)

Some recipes mention also to pour a syrup over the hot loaf, you may do that, for me, it is sweet enough as it is.

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Kαλό Πάσχα

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