Foodie

Friday, April 6, 2012

Greek Easter Bread/Tsoureki





Tsoureki, a rich sweet yeast bread with a proud tradition, is made of eggs, milk, and butter, is a staple during Greek Easter. The three-strand braid symbolizes the Holy Trinity, while the red-dyed hard-boiled egg braided into the dough symbolizes the blood of Christ. I know there’s a lot poured into it and since it is the ending of Lent and being able to eat well again, this delicious bread ought to be served.  AuthenticTsoureki is flavored with orange and a delightful spice called Mahlab (also called Mahlepi) that is ground from the pits of wild cherries.  I did not make an authentic tsoureki but i did bake a beautiful bread that put a smile in everyone's faces when they looked at it and you should see their eyes rolling will glee when they were eating this soft bread.  Happy Easter and a lovely weekend.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, add milk to make 1 cup
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 ozs/4 tbsp softened butter
5 hard-boiled eggs dyed red

Glaze:

1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp water

Topping:

Raw White Sesame Seeds







Method:

Put the 1 cup of eggs and milk into breadmachine bowl, then add in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 3 cups bread flour and lastly 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast.

Select dough function in breadmachine and press start.

When the dough is well combined into a dough, add in the softened butter and allow the breadmachine to complete the dough function.

When the dough is ready, remove from breadmachine and scale the dough into 4 portions.  1 portion will be 100 gm(this will then be divided into 10 pieces to make the cross) and the remainder of the dough, divide equally into 3 portions.

Shape the portions into rounds and leave to rest covered for about 10 minutes.

After resting, shape the 3 equal rounds into long ropes and then pliat the ropes.   Pinch the ends of pliat tightly and found pliated ropes into a ring, pinching the 2 ends together.  Transfer carefully to a lined baking sheet.

Divide the 100 gm portion into 10 pieces of 10 gm each.  Roll each 10 gm piece into thin rope about 4 - 5 inches long.

Take 2 pieces and make a cross wrapping the top of the dyed egg, making sure that the ends of ropes are tugged in the bottom of egg.  Place egg onto a pleat of the plaited ring dough.(Open the pleat wider to enable egg to sit in).  Repeat crossing the other 4 eggs and placing onto plaited ring dough in strategic positions.

Cover with greased cling wrap and a damp towel and allow to proof for 45 minutes until double in size.

Preheat oven 375f when bread is doubled in size.

Brush the bread with glaze and top generously with white sesame seeds.

Put into preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 350f.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool and enjoy.

Happy Easter






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