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      Greek Easter Bread

      Greek Easter Bread
      Greek Easter Bread
      Group 1 Ingredients for Sponge:10 oz Bread Flour2 oz Dry Yeast7 oz WaterGroup 2 Ingredients:14 oz sugar1 tsp Salt 1/2 Tbsp Ground Malhep or Anise 1/2 tsp CardamomZest of 2 Oranges 1/2 Tbsp Vegetable OilGroup 3 Ingredients: 1/2 cup Scalded Milk1 1/4 cup Whole EggsThe Sponge (Group 1 mixture), pulled apart into pieces14 oz Bread Flour1 cup Melted ButterGroup 4 Finishing:Slivered AlmondsEgg WashHard 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!{}