Tuesday, 6 May 2014

April 2014 Daring Bakers challenge: Easterbreads-Tsoureki

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.
So, I'm finally able to post this recipe since my computer fell down last week and didn't work properly.
My Easter bread is called tsoureki. It is a brioche-like bread consumed on Easter in Greece, it exists on every bakery in Greece, decorated with a dyed egg on the top. Well, we don't only eat it on Easter but we also eat it at Christmas, with a Christmas decoration and you can also eat it whenever you want, as it is, or with marmalade, nutella or whatever you like on it, as a special breakfast or along with your coffee or tea.
The main spices are mahlepi (mahlab) and mastic but some people put vanilla and cardamom instead. The traditional one though, is with mastic and mahlepi which give it a unique aroma. The most important thing about this recipe, and well, every tsoureki recipe, is to use strong flour or else you will not have this special texture, but it will feel more like common bread. 
 It would also be better, if you use a stand mixer for this one, as it needs about 20 minutes kneading. It would be pretty impossible to knead by hand and very tiring with a hand mixer. Also, if you don't have the spices as they are not that easy to find outside Greece, you can use vanilla or cardamom or both. The recipe is once more from Stelios Parliaros, the ultimate pastry chef in Greece. Here it is: