If you haven’t tried tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) before, then you are certainly missing out! Soft, fluffy, with a beautiful brown semi-soft crust and an amazing stringy texture
• Jules Verne
Greek Easter bread (tsoureki) is traditionally served in Easter and the three braids symbolise the Holy Trinity, but it is also very popular throughout the year as a delicious breakfast, midday snack, or tea/coffee companion.
1 glass of milk
1 tsp. crushed mastic
1 tsp. grated mahlab
Pinch of salt
Pinch of vanilla
1 egg (to brush on the top part of the loaves)
½ cup sliced almonds
Prepare the yeast: in a bowl, add yeast, half a class of warm water and 150g of sifted flour; mix and leave in a warm place.
In a mixer, beat 100g of butter, 220g of sugar, the eggs, the milk, the mastic and the mahlab, as well as the salt and vanilla, until it forms a dough.
Slowly add the remainder of the sifted flour.
Slow the mixer and begin to add the remaining butter; the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.
Place the dough into a metallic bowl, cover with 2-3 towels and place in oven at 40 degrees for 1 hour and let it rise.
Take the dough out, knead again for 2-3 minutes and place in the oven again for another ½ hour.
Remove the dough and cut into 9 portions.
Brush olive oil on a flat surface and turn each ball into a long, thin roll.
Braid three rolls together (achieving a braid shape) and place one red egg on the end.
Place the braided loaf on a pan that has been brushed with olive oil and which has parchment paper on it.
Beat one egg in some water and brush the top of the Tsoureki. If you’d like, you can also sprinkle almond slices on the top.
Bake for 1 hour at 170 degrees until they have risen and have a nice, golden colour.