Tsoureki- braided Greek Easter bread
Cook time 30 minutes- 350 degrees
Prep time- at least 4 hours
Note: the dough must rise twice before baking , so be sure to allow enough time to bake the bread completely.
Tsoureki (braided Greek Easter bread)
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp cold milk
1 tbsp honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
Zest of an orange
8 cups bread flour (substitute partial wheat flour if desired)
2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup melted butter
6 eggs beaten
2 envelopes active dry yeast
Make the glaze-
Beat together 2 egg yolks, 4 tbsp cold milk, and honey. Cover and place in fridge.
Make the bread:
Heat 2 cups of milk in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of flour, 2 envelopes of yeast, and ½ cup of sugar. Mix until combined. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in warm place. In a large bowl, combine 8 cups of bread flour, 1 tsp salt, zest of 1 orange, and 1 ½ cups sugar until dough forms. Add yeast mixture, 6 beaten eggs, and melted butter. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto counter and knead dough for about 10 minutes. (You could also use your KitchenAid with a dough hook until smooth). Lightly grease a medium bowl with canola oil. Place dough in bowl and cover. Wait about 2 hours or until dough has doubled. Divide dough in 3, roll out into long strips with hands and braid. Place braid on baking sheet and cover to rise a second time for about 2 hours. Brush the glaze mixture onto dough and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes. Bread should be lightly browned and hollow sounding when it’s ready. Remove and cool on wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Serve with coffee or tea on Easter morning.
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