Greek Easter Bread


Group 1 Ingredients for Sponge:

10 oz Bread Flour

2 oz Dry Yeast

7 oz Water

Group 2 Ingredients:

14 oz sugar

1 tsp Salt

½ Tbsp Ground Malhep or Anise

½ tsp Cardamom

Zest of 2 Oranges

½ Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Group 3 Ingredients:

½ cup Scalded Milk

1 1/4 cup Whole Eggs

The Sponge (Group 1 mixture), pulled apart into pieces

14 oz Bread Flour

1 cup Melted Butter

Group 4 Finishing:

Slivered Almonds

Egg Wash

Hard Boiled Egg (optional, colored red)

Directions:

Mix ingredients in Group 1.  Set aside for 3-6 hours. Once sponge is done, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix ingredients in Group 2. Slowly add ingredients in Group 3 in order, one at a time, slowly, being sure to incorporate the ingredient before adding more.  Knead until the dough can be stretched but still holds together.

Divide dough into 4. Roll out each portion into a rope about 30” long, trying not to overwork. Cut into 3 pieces then braid. Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn oven down to 325 and bake another 20 minutes.

OPTIONAL: Remove bread from the oven about 10 minutes before it’s done, brush with an egg wash (3 parts beat egg to 1 part water + dash of salt) and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.  Return to the oven.

Remove from the oven and gently press a red colored hard boiled egg into the bread, about 1/3rd from the top. Let cool & enjoy!

 

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