Easter is about having the time to sit together around the breakfast table for hours, nibbling and chatting away with family and friends. Tsoureki bread is a classic Greek Easter bread that definitely cannot be missed on the breakfast table. Its fluffy, stringy texture goes so well with the golden brown, soft crust. Usually, the distinctive spices mahleb and mastic give it the authentic flavour, but this recipe hits the nail on the head with cinnamon and cardamom. If you do happen to have mastic and mahleb at hand, use a pinch of each instead of the cardamom. This bread is best enjoyed fresh with some jam or peanut butter.
Recipe Tester Feedback: "Delicious bread with subtle flavours. Especially good when served freshly sliced with apricot jam!" - Diana
Contains: Gluten / Dairy / Egg / Nuts
Preparation Time 2 hours
Cooking Time 30-35 minutes
Cannot be frozen
- orange - 1/2, medium, peel only
- milk - 220g
- yeast - 5g, dry active
- caster sugar - 80g
- butter - 80g
- eggs - 2
- plain flour - 500g + extra for dusting
- cinnamon - 1 pinch, ground
- cardamom - 1 pinch, ground
- salt - 1/2 tsp
- almonds - 10g, flaked
- If you need to make your own caster sugar, add raw sugar (80g) to the bowl now and grind Speed 9 / 3 seconds. Set aside.
- Peel off the zest of the orange (1/2), using a peeler. Place in the mixing bowl. Blitz Speed 10 / 30 seconds. Stop, scrape down sides and continue if you can hear that the blades are no longer making contact with the peel. Repeat if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for later.
- Add milk (220g), yeast (5g) and caster sugar (80g) to the mixer bowl. Program 2 minutes / 37C / Speed 2.
- Add butter (80g) in small cubes, egg (1 only), plain flour (500g), orange zest, cinnamon (1 pinch), cardamom (1 pinch) and salt (1/2 tsp). Knead 2 minutes / Closed Lid / Kneading Function.
- Remove from the mixer bowl and transfer into a large bowl, dusted with flour. Cover with clingfilm and a tea towel. Leave to rise for approx. 1.5 hours, until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Tip the dough onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into three equal sized pieces and roll into a thick string, about 35cm long. Place them onto the baking tray. See the gallery images for a visual guide of this process.
- Braid the three strands into a long braid and tuck under the edges.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Crack the remaining egg (1) in a small bowl and slightly whisk. Brush over the bread and sprinkle over the almonds.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you knock on it.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool down on a wire rack.