Tsoureki is the delicate and aromatic Greek Easter braid. It smells of mastic and mahaleb.
Although this recipe is traditionally made with butter, it has been completely recreated using OEL olive oil .
You can feel the lightness of the olive oil without sacrificing the wonderfully familiar taste.
Preparation time: 4 hours | Baking time: 50 minutes | Servings: 4
3 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon cream
¾ cup milk
½ cup OEL olive oil
½ cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon ground Mahaleb
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground mastic
2 tablespoons blanched almond slivers
3 saffron threads from Krocus Kozanis
Heat the milk and cream in a pot, turn off the stove, add the ground mastic to the pot and stir well. Add the crushed saffron threads and let cool until the temperature is around 45°C. Add the dry yeast and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Mix flour, sugar, Mahaleb and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then add the milk-yeast mixture and the eggs and pour the OEL olive oil into the bowl. Mix until a homogeneous mass is formed. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Divide the dough into two pieces, one large and one small. Divide the smaller piece into 6 equal pieces and the larger one into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope with your hands.
Connect the ends of the 3 large rolls of dough and braid them into a plait. Use your fingers to make a depression in the middle of the braid, into which two smaller braids are then placed.
Connect the ends of the other 6 pieces and make 2 small braids. Place these in the hollow of the large braid and press lightly.
Brush the top of the tsoureki with egg, then let it rise in the oven at 40°C for about 30 minutes. After proofing, brush again with the egg. Sprinkle the blanched almond slivers on the top of the tsoureki.
Bake the tsoureki in the oven preheated to 170°C for about 50 minutes. Allow to cool and slice before serving.
If you want something traditional, serve tsoureki with hard-boiled red-colored eggs.