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A Recipe for Tsoureki Easter Bread

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Tsoureki Easter Bread with Dyed Easter Eggs :
A Recipe

- 1 cup milk
- 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 cups flour, divided
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 3 eggs & 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 8 dyed hard boiled eggs

The Making
Prepare the mix:
- heat milk to very warm & pour into electric mixer bowl
- whisk in 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar & yeast until well mixed
- detach from mixer, cover with plastic wrap & let stand
in a warm, draft-free place until bubbly for approx. 30 mins
- fit mixer with a dough hook & add eggs, one at a time to
yeast mixture
- add another 1 cup of flour, orange zest & salt
- add softened butter vanilla & orange juice
- mix well, then gradually add enough of the remaining flour
to form a soft, sticky dough, kneading until smooth
- coat a bowl with vegetable oil & turn dough
- cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel & allow
it rise in a clean, draft-free place, until double in size
(approximately 1-1/2 hours)
Prepare the oven:
- pre-heat oven to 400° F
- line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Braid the dough:
- divide the dough into thirds, roll each third into a long
rope then braid those ropes, then twist the whole braid
into a ring.
Tuck the dyed hard boiled eggs, wide or heavy side down,
between the strands of the braid, at even intervals
around the circle
Finishing touches:
- mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water
- brush loaves with egg mixture & bake for 15 minutes
- lower heat to 350° F & bake for about 20 minutes more or
until golden brown
- remove from oven & cool for 5 minutes before removing
to a wire rack to cool completely

Tsoureki Easter Bread with Dyed Easter Eggs

Greek Easter Eggs
Traditionally, Greek Easter eggs are coloured red.

Place the eggs in a pot in lukewarm water. When the water starts to boil, lower temperature & simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare red dye, according to the directions of the package (dye for Easter eggs can be purchased at any Greek shop or local supermarket). Place boiled eggs one at a time into the dye. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Remove the egg from the dye and allow to drain. Rub eggs with soft cloth, dipped in some olive oil, to make them shine. Wipe off the excess olive oil with paper towels. Place eggs in any shaped platter & decorate center of dining room table.

Traditionally, cracking the eggs is done with family and friends. A family member will say 'Christos Anesti', ('Christ has risen') to which one replies 'Alithos anesti' ('Truly He has risen'). The person with the uncracked egg enjoys good luck.


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