How to make easter bread – Tsoureki
Easter is special. It has a variety of different foods and recipes that are available on the table and made just for that day. One of them is the traditional easter bread that in Greek is called, Tsoureki
The name “tsoureki” comes from the Turkish word “corek” and means any bread made with yeast dough. There are different types of corek, both savory and sweet, as well as in different sizes and shapes depending on the region where they are prepared. Armenians, as well as residents of Azerbaijan, make a round flat bread sprinkled with sesame seeds called “churek”. The name “tsoureki” was probably adopted by the Greeks during the Turkish occupation, where they began to make their own version of tsoureki like a sweet bread made with milk, butter and eggs.
Tsoureki as an important element of the Greek tradition, is associated with local customs and traditions and acquires a unique meaning for all Greeks, especially during the Easter period. Specifically, the bun symbolizes the resurrection of Christ, as the flour comes to life and is transformed into bread, while the kneading in the shape of a braid symbolizes the removal of evil spirits. Tsoureki is the most famous of the various Easter breads of the Greek tradition, while other well-known Easter breads are the “labrokouloura” or the “brilliant bread”.
Nowadays, tsoureki is consumed all year round, while the various versions in which it is available – with a vest or with different fillings – “transform” it into the pleasure that you can taste at any time of the day!
The following recipe is the one my mother made all of the years and has been quite successful. Hope you enjoy it!
INGREDIENTS FOR TSOUREKI EASTER BREAD
- 500gr of flour for bread
- 60ml of lukewarm water
- 30gr of yeast
- 100gr of sugar
- 50gr of honey
- 2 eggs
- 100ml of milk
- 100gr of vegetable butter
- 7gr of Mahleb
- 2gr of mastic
- 5gr of kardamon
- a bit of orange zest
- Chocolate zest
HOW TO COOK GREEK EASTER BREAD
In a bowl, put the 60 g of lukewarm water, the yeast and 3 teaspoons of the flour and a little of the sugar.
Mix with the spoon from the mixer, cover with cling film and leave for 1/2 hour for it to swell. In the bucket of the mixer we put the puffed mixture of the yeast and we add the eggs, the sugar, the milk, the honey, the zest and the spices.
Stir with a big spoon and start adding spoons of flour and the butter one after the other. Mix but do not wait for the vitamin to be absorbed. You need to leave it to appear in the dough as this will help to create fibers in the dough.
Transfer the dough to an oiled large pan that will be covered in order to swell the dough. Wait about 1 hour depending on how hot the room is.
Sprinkle the dough with flour and add a little flour to the puff pastry so that we can shape it into wicks. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and open each wick in a sheet that is not too big and pour a little merenda along the sheet and a little chocolate scraping. We roll each sheet in a roll and shape the 4 wicks into a plait.
In a pan with baking paper, put the bun. Leave it to rise for 1/2 hour and spread it with a brush with a little seed oil very gently so as not to deflate it. We have preheated the oven to 170 and bake it for 3/4 of an hour.
If the oven is too strong cover it with a foil. When it is done make whatever decorations you want using black and white chocolate.