Greek Easter is not complete without tsoureki; the sweet bread-like cake shaped in twists and rounds with a red egg tucked into it for decoration.
Preparation Time:45 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes
Level of Difficulty:Easy
- • 1 packet active dry yeast
- • 3 tablespoons warm water
- • 125m warm milk
- • 2 tablespoons melted butter
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
- • 1 large egg, beaten
- • 3 tablespoons sugar
- • 1 dessertspoon grated orange rind
- • 750g flour
- • (Optional) 1 hard boiled egg, dyed red
- For the glaze:
- • 1 tablespoon of butter melted
- • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast with warm water, add the rest of the ingredients (except the flour and the hard-boiled egg) and stir well. Add the flour and mix well. When the mixture is stiff, turn out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth.
- 2. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Grease a bowl and place the dough turning it so that its entire surface is oiled. Cover with cling film and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- 3. Place the dough on a floured surface, and punch it down. Knead briefly and divide it in three equal parts. Roll each part into a 60cm long rope. Braid the ropes together and pinch the ends securely.
- 4. Place the egg in the centre of the braided bread, cover with a damp kitchen cloth and return to a warm place for about an hour.
- 5. Preheat the oven 180C (340F/Gas Mark4) and bake the bread for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter; sprinkle sesame seeds on top.