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Greek-Easter Tsoureki

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

This is sweet, aromatic bread, similar to Brioche or Jewish Challa. A bit of an undertaking, my sisters and I would be roped into making this during Holy Week. My mother came up with the inspired idea of proving the dough, in bowls, tightly wrapped in quilts, inside our beds with the electric blankets on. We'd crawl into our beds at night, exhausted and bone-weary from kneading, and the sheets would smell of the mahlepi used to flavour the bread.

This is sweet, aromatic bread, similar to Brioche or Jewish Challa. A bit of an undertaking, my sisters and I would be roped into making this during Holy Week. My mother came up with the inspired idea of proving the dough, in bowls, tightly wrapped in quilts, inside our beds with the electric blankets on. We'd crawl into our beds at night, exhausted and bone-weary from kneading, and the sheets would smell of the mahlepi used to flavour the bread.

Ingredients

Serves: 1

Metric Cups
  • 8 medium eggs (well beaten)
  • 750 millilitres caster sugar
  • 375 grams butter (melted)
  • 90 grams fresh yeast
  • 250 millilitres milk (warm)
  • 1 packet mahlab
  • 250 millilitres orange juice
  • 1½ kilograms strong white bread flour (sifted)
  • 1 medium egg white
  • 1 sprinkling of sesame seeds (for decorating)
  • 8 medium eggs (well beaten)
  • 26 fluid ounce superfine sugar
  • 13¼ ounces butter (melted)
  • 3⅙ ounces fresh yeast
  • 9 fluid ounce milk (warm)
  • 1 packet mahlab
  • 9 fluid ounce orange juice
  • 3⅓ pounds strong white bread flour (sifted)
  • 1 medium egg white
  • 1 sprinkling of sesame seeds (for decorating)

Method

Greek-Easter Tsoureki is a community recipe submitted by gastrohoover and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • For the yeast starter, put the yeast, the milk and half the sugar into a large bowl. Mix until yeast is creamy and liquid. Add some flour so that it forms a nice thick batter. Put aside in a warm place and watch the bubbles rise. This should be ready in about 45 minutes.
  • In a very LARGE mixing bowl/or basin, add the sifted flour, mahlepi and remaining sugar. Mix well. Make a well in the centre; pour in beaten eggs, orange juice, melted (cooled) butter and the yeast mixture.
  • Form a hook with your hand and start mixing, until a good, elastic and soft dough is formed. If it appears sticky, don't add any more flour; rather, spray your hands with cooking spray and this will prevent sticking and/or the dough drying out.
  • Place well-kneaded dough into a clean, lightly oiled basin. Cover with a blanket and place in a warm place. (Over a central heating duct, on the bonnet of a still warm car, in a sunny spot or in a bed with the electric blanket on.) Let rise until double (at least a couple of hours - don't rush it). Punch down dough and knead again. And again, and again.
  • Divide dough into 6 portions. Then divide those into three portions.
  • Roll out each portion into a long "rope" and then plait using three "ropes". This makes six plaited loaves. Place each loaf on its own baking tray and place in warm spot until loaves are doubled.
  • Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake each loaf in a hot, preheated oven until doubled in size, and a golden brown colour.
  • For the yeast starter, put the yeast, the milk and half the sugar into a large bowl. Mix until yeast is creamy and liquid. Add some flour so that it forms a nice thick batter. Put aside in a warm place and watch the bubbles rise. This should be ready in about 45 minutes.
  • In a very LARGE mixing bowl/or basin, add the sifted flour, mahlepi and remaining sugar. Mix well. Make a well in the centre; pour in beaten eggs, orange juice, melted (cooled) butter and the yeast mixture.
  • Form a hook with your hand and start mixing, until a good, elastic and soft dough is formed. If it appears sticky, don't add any more flour; rather, spray your hands with cooking spray and this will prevent sticking and/or the dough drying out.
  • Place well-kneaded dough into a clean, lightly oiled basin. Cover with a blanket and place in a warm place. (Over a central heating duct, on the bonnet of a still warm car, in a sunny spot or in a bed with the electric blanket on.) Let rise until double (at least a couple of hours - don't rush it). Punch down dough and knead again. And again, and again.
  • Divide dough into 6 portions. Then divide those into three portions.
  • Roll out each portion into a long "rope" and then plait using three "ropes". This makes six plaited loaves. Place each loaf on its own baking tray and place in warm spot until loaves are doubled.
  • Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake each loaf in a hot, preheated oven until doubled in size, and a golden brown colour.
  • Tell us what you think