Greek Tsoureki (Easter Bread) (#1563)
Breads Easter Holidays Greek
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- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 package Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 cup Sugar granulated
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 large Eggs beaten
- 5 tablespoons Orange Juice
- 1 Tbsp Orange Zest grated
- 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour sifted
- 1 Butter melted
- 1 Eggs hard boiled, red-dyed
- 1/4 cup Almonds slivered
- 2 tablespoons Sugar granulated
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and butter over medium heat and scald.
- Stir until the butter melts, then pour into a mixing bowl.
- When lukewarm, sprinkle in the yeast, and with fingers or a heavy spoon gradually stir in the 1/2 cup sugar until it dissolves.
- Then add the salt, eggs 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, and the orange rind, stirring continuously, and gradually add half the flour until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Continue adding flour gradually by hand; the dough will be sticky, but should not be stiff.
- Flour your fingers lightly and knead for 15 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large buttered bowl, brush the dough with melted butter, cover, and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in bulk (approximately 2 to 3 hours).
- Punch the dough down and divide into 2 parts.
- Divide each half into 3 parts and roll each into a long rope about 10 x 2 inches.
- Braid the three ropes together; pinch to seal the ends if leaving long, or join together to form a long round loaf.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough to make a second tsoureki.
- Place in large baking pans or on a cookie sheet, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk (approx.1 1/2 hours).
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by mixing the remaining orange juice, remaining sugar, and the almonds in a small bowl.
- Bake the tsourekia in a 375 degree f oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and with a pastry brush glaze the tops and sides of loaves.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the color is a rich and shiny chestnut.
- Note: If using the easter eggs, tuck them into the center when you shape the loaves, leave until loaves have doubled and bake them with the loaf.
- After baking, though lovely, the eggs will be inedible.