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Tsoureki Easter Bread

Tsoureki Easter Bread
Easter is right around the corner, and while it is celebrated in different ways by many, one common thread is to involve colorful eggs, either in hunts or baskets or bread.
Yield 6 rings
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Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mahlepi or ground anise seed
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 8 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Decoration

  • 6 eggs (see note)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Colored sprinkles (optional)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (beaten together)

Instructions

Make the dough

  • Mix the yeast, salt, Mahlephi, orange zest, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.
  • Mix in the flour, using a spoon or Danish dough whisk until all of the flour is incorporated.
  • Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.

Make the eggs

  • To dye the eggs: place 2 cups boiling water, 2 teaspoons vinegar and food coloring in a bowl. Drop the eggs into the dye (if the solution cools off, reheat it and continue with the other eggs). Make sure your eggs are well rinsed and dry before placing on the bread, so they don’t bleed color.

Assemble the Tsoureki

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 12 pieces of dough, each piece weighing 3 1/2 ounces (99g). Gently roll each piece of dough to form a 1-inch thick rope about 13-14 inches long. Take two pieces of dough and twist to form a braid. Pinch the ends together, and form the braid into a circle. Tuck the ends underneath and press them into the dough gently so they stay put during baking. Repeat with the remaining dough, making 6 rings total.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place each dough circle on the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Brush each circle with the egg wash, and then decorate each piece with sprinkles. In the middle of each dough ring, gently place an Easter egg.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Notes

You can use uncooked eggs, since they will cook while the bread is baking. The eggs are for decoration and not really meant to be eaten, so it’s a nice way to save time.
 
Recipe by Artisan Bread in Five.

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Tsoureki Easter Bread

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Tsoureki – Easter Bread

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