Greek Easter bread
Check out these delicious recipes.Greek Easter bread is also called Tsoureki and Lambropsomo. Translated, Tsoureki means braided while Lambropsomo means Easter bread. This delicious treat is characterized by hard boiled, scarlet-dyed eggs – meant to symbolize the blood of Christ – baked right into the bread dough. The following recipes will help you make Greek Easter bread that your family will be sure to enjoy.
Traditional Style Greek Easter Bread
- 1 C milk
- 4 ½ to 5 ½ C divided flour
- ¾ C white sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp yeast
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ C softened butter
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 8 dyed hard-boiled eggs
Fix mixer with a dough hook and add eggs, one at a time, to the yeast mixture. Add another cup of flour, orange zest and salt, then the softened butter and the orange juice. Mix well and then gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form soft, sticky dough, kneading until it becomes smooth. Coat a bowl with vegetable oil and turn the dough inside to gently cover with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen cloth and let rise until it doubles in size, which usually takes about 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
You can now choose what you would like to do with your dough:
You can divide the dough into thirds and roll each third into a rope. Braid the ropes and then twist into a ring. Tuck the dyed hard-boiled eggs wide-side down between the strands of the braid at even intervals around the circle.
You can also make two straight braid loaves by dividing the dough in half, then dividing each half into thirds. Roll each of these thirds into a rope and make a straight braid, tucking the ends under and placing the hard-boiled eggs at even intervals along the braid.
Divide the dough into eighths and then roll each loaf into an oval shape. Press a dyed, hard-boiled egg into the loaf heavy side down into the center of each loaf. You can bake it as is or make a cross out of the dough to encase an egg.
Whichever shape you choose, cover the prepared bread with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen cloth and let it rise until it doubles in size, which usually takes about 1 ½ hours.
Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water and brush the loaves with the mixture. Lower the heat on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; bake for 20 minutes more or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Optional choices include sprinkling the loaves or braids with sugar, sesame seeds or blanched almond slices.
Sweet Greek Easter Bread
- 450 grams (1 lb) of white flour
- 175 ml (3/4 cup of warm milk)
- 20 grams (2/3 oz) of yeast
- 140 ml (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp) hot milk
- 1 tsp all spice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 50 grams (3 tbsp) of butter
- 50 grams (3 tbsp) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp liquid honey
- 1 egg yolk
- Flaked almonds
In a large bowl, combine the flour, all spice, cinnamon, caraway seeds and salt. In another bowl, dissolve the yeast in 175 ml of warm milk. In a third bowl, cream the butter together with the sugar, whisk in the eggs and the 140 ml of hot milk.
Slowly pour the yeast and butter mixtures into the center of the flour, gradually blending the flour in until dough is formed. Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for about two hours or until it has doubled in volume.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it. Then divide it into three balls and roll each one out. Then braid the ropes together and fold each under at the end. Place the colored eggs onto the dough, gently pressing down. Cover and let rise for another hour.
Mix the beaten egg yolk with the honey and water and brush over the bread. Sprinkle with flaked almonds. Place in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool and serve the delicious Greek Easter bread to friends and family. Enjoy!