INGREDIENTS

1 kg high-protein flour
500 ml full-fat milk
250 gr granulated sugar
4 eggs
125 gr butter
16 gr. dry yeast
1 tsp ground mahleb
½ tsp grated mastic
Zest from 1 lemon
1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp milk or water (egg wash)
Sliced almond (sprinkling)

INSTRUCTIONS

1.In a big saucepan heat milk in medium temperature, add sugar and whisk until melted.
2.In a large bowl stir together flour, mahleb, mastic and lemon zest.
3.In a small bowl dissolve yeast with some lukewarm milk and 2-3 tbsp flour until it becomes a slop. Let the yeast activate for 15 minutes.
4.In a small saucepan, heat butter in a low temperature until melted.
5.In the bowl with dry ingredients mix in milk – sugar mixture, activated yeast and beaten eggs.
6.Stir with a spoon until combined. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer.
7.Start kneading the dough, adding gradually the butter.
8.Knead until butter is fully incorporated to the dough. In that point, you’ll have a smooth, elastic dough.
9.Place it into a large bowl and cover with a clean towel. Leave it aside in a warm place until doubled in volume for about 2 ½ hours.
10.Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and split it in 4 equal parts.
11.Divide each part into smaller balls of dough (3, 4 or 5) depending on how many stripes you prefer your tsoureki bread has.
12.Take each ball and roll it a little with your hands until you form a log. Once you have 3 pieces (or 4, or 5) of dough shaped into logs, pinch one of their ends together so that they are all connected.
13.Then, start braiding until your tsoureki is formed.
14.Place it on a baking tray layered with parchment paper. Repeat until you have used all the dough.
15.Cover the braids with clean kitchen towels and allow them to rise and double in size in a warm place.
16.Preheat the oven very well at 200o Celsius.
17.Brush each sweet easter bread with egg wash and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
18.Bake each one for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
19.Place breads onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
20.If you want to store tsoureki bread, you can cover it with a cling film and place it to the freezer.

NOTES

  1. Milk must be lukewarm, not hot because it will burn the yeast or cold because the yeast will never activate.
  2. Eggs must be at a room temperature.
  3. You can combine the dry yeast directly to the mixture, but personally I prefer to activate it separately, otherwise it might not be completely dissolved.
  4. In the past, I used to incorporate the butter from the beginning of the process. Along the way, I realized that incorporating it in the end as the last ingredient, the texture of the dough became so much smoother.
  5. This recipe contains a high percentage of wet ingredients comparing to other ones. You might think that the dough is too wet or sticky but don’t be tempted to add any flour.
  6. The environment temperature and the humidity vary sometimes, so the dough might behave differently. Try to create a warm space for the dough to rise nicely.
  7. The oven must be very well preheated. Ideally, you can use a thermometer to be sure.
  8. Tsoureki breads can be stored to the freezer for a long time. Taking them out overnight, next morning you can enjoy a fresh, soft tsoureki.
  9. If the weather is too hot, you can also store them for a couple of days to the fridge.
  10. You can find the original recipe here: https://www.tastefull.gr/recipe/tsoureki-mamas-mou-pio-trifero . I have to admit that it’s a great pleasure to include this recipe in my blog page since it’s one of my favorites.

 

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