A conventional braided bread loved by Greeks throughout Easter, tsoureki is made
utilizing an extremely tender, enriched bread akin to challah, with brightly dyed Easter
eggs nestled into the braided ring. The three strands of dough are mentioned to symbolize the
Holy Trinity, whereas the crimson eggs are mentioned to represent the blood of Christ in addition to
eternity and fertility. It’s customary to taste the bread with orange, anise, and mahleb,
a spice constructed from the seeds of a species of cherry with a style akin to bitter almond and
cherry. Nevertheless, as a result of the supply of mahleb varies by area, we’ve used almond
extract as a substitute. It’ll be the right addition to Easter brunch!
- 1 cup (240 grams) entire milk
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
- 4¾ to five cups (594 to 625 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) instantaneous yeast*
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (1 gram) orange zest
- ¾ teaspoon (1 gram) floor anise seed
- 3 giant eggs (150 grams), room temperature and divided
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) almond extract
- 4 in-shell giant eggs (224 grams)
- Vegetable oil, for coating
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) sliced almonds
- 3 cups (720 grams) heat water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) distilled white vinegar
- 50 to 55 drops crimson liquid meals coloring
- In a small saucepan, warmth milk and butter over medium-low warmth till butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
- Within the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk collectively 3 cups (375 grams) fl our, sugar, yeast, salt, orange zest, and anise seed. Add heat milk combination, 2 room temperature eggs (100 grams), and almond extract; utilizing the paddle attachment, beat at low velocity till mixed. With mixer on medium-low velocity, progressively add 1¾ cups (219 grams) flour, beating till a comfortable dough kinds.
- Change to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low velocity till dough is clean and elastic, about quarter-hour; add as much as remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is simply too sticky. Prove dough onto a frivolously floured floor, and form right into a spherical.
- Flippantly spray a big bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease high. Cowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, ideally in a single day. (Alternatively, cowl and let rise in a heat, draft-free place [75°F/24°C] till doubled in dimension, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, and refrigerate for half-hour. Will probably be simpler to braid whereas chilly.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Flippantly coat in-shell eggs with vegetable oil. Put aside.
- Punch dough down, and frivolously knead 2 to three occasions. Divide into 3 parts (about 389 grams every). Roll every portion right into a 26-inch rope. Pinch strands collectively on one finish, and braid strands collectively, pinching to seal on different finish. Form right into a wreath, tucking ends beneath wreath. Switch to ready pan. Gently tuck oiled in-shell eggs between strands of dough in wreath as desired. Cowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a heat, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) till puffed, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a small bowl, frivolously whisk collectively 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water and remaining 1 room temperature egg (50 grams). Flippantly brush egg wash over braid, avoiding in-shell eggs. Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over braid.
- Bake till golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in middle registers 190°F (88°C), about 50 minutes, overlaying with foil throughout ultimate quarter-hour of baking to stop extra browning. Let cool on pan for quarter-hour. Take away from pan, and let cool fully on a wire rack.
- Fastidiously take away in-shell eggs from loaf. Clear off any bread or vegetable oil residue with a clear towel.
- In a medium bowl, whisk collectively 3 cups (720 grams) heat water, vinegar, and meals coloring till mixed. Fastidiously decrease in-shell eggs into bowl; let stand till desired coloration is reached, 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring sometimes. Take away in-shell eggs from water, and switch to a paper towel to dry for a minimum of half-hour. Fastidiously place in-shell eggs again in loaf. Serve instantly. Retailer bread (with eggs eliminated) in an hermetic container at room temperature for as much as 3 days.