Saturday, April 11, 2009

greek easter bread...

photo: melanie acevedo

Greek Easter Bread

recipe from SAVEUR
I couldn't find my Mom's (which is delicious) but this one comes very close.

This braided bread, which is probably Byzantine in origin, is traditionally perfumed with the essence of makhlépi, the seeds of Mediterranean wild cherries. Check your local specialty stores for hard-to-find Greek ingredients.

2 7-gram packets active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk
9–10 cups flour
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 tsp. makhlépi (optional)
8 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
6 eggs, 1 lightly beaten
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 hard-cooked red-dyed eggs (optional)
2 tbsp. black cumin seeds

1. Dissolve yeast in milk in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 cup of the sugar, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour. Steep makhlépi, if using, in 1/2 cup simmering water for about 5 minutes. Strain, discard makhlépi, and set aside liquid to cool.

2. Stir 1/2 cup water or makhlépi-scented liquid into yeast mixture. Add butter and 5 of the eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift 8 cups of the flour, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar into mixture. Add orange and lemon zest, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead (adding more flour if necessary) until smooth, about 10 minutes, then form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to rise for 2 hours.

3. Return dough to floured surface. Divide into 6 parts, rolling into ropes about 15" long. For each loaf, tightly braid 3 ropes, then press 1 dyed egg (if using) near the end of each braid. Set bread aside to rise again for 1 hour on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

4. Preheat oven to 350˚. Brush bread with beaten egg, sprinkle with cumin seeds, and bake until golden, 40–50 minutes.

Happy Easter
-angelo surmelis


leah - moxiethrift on etsy said...

i've never met a loaf of bread i didn't like. and this one looks to not dissappoint.

Happy Easter to you.

Visual Vamp said...

Happy Easter darling Angelo.
xo xo

Julian said...

I'm not Greek, but grew up in a Greek neighborhood in Toronto and had many Greek friends (still do). I LOVE Tsoureki. I would beg them to make it all year round, even though the very devout Orthodox thought that has forbidden. LOL!

I adore your style and everything you do. Wonderful blog.

Happy Easter,

Jillian said...


Terri said...

I love this bread! Thank you for the recipe. Happy Easter. Loved the shows last night btw~

Deirdre said...


The shows were excellent last night. You are a rock star!

mrsben said...

This bread sounds delicious Angelo! It reminds me of 'Hot Cross Buns'; the recipe of which is believed to have been influenced by the Greeks and Romans. (Here in North America raisins are often used as an ingredient but originally it was the red, dried berry fruit (currant) of the Makhlépi bush.)

'It's a small world afterall' isn't it? Hope you had a wonderful Easter and wishing you a delightful week.

Michael said...

Seriously, between this, your cookies, and the cakes, I'm just going to start smearing them on my butt cause that's where it'll all end up! I'm a bread boy, and this sounds to-die-for (as in Jay needs to get his own loaf!)

Hope you had a great Easter!

Wendy said...

I made it and LOVED it! I actually made two of them and they were a huge hit with my family over the weekend. I adore you and your shows. Thank you for being so talented, inspirational and real.

Steph said...

Made it. Loved it. It was a giant hot with family and friends. They all asked for the recipe and when I told them it was from your blog, I became a HUGE rock star for EASTER!

Thank you!

I have to tell you that you are the only thing I watch on HGTV! I also still watch you on re-runs on TLC's Clean Sweep. You are incredible. Not only as a designer, but you have something nobody else does (even when they try to fake it) HEART!

Can't wait for your new furniture line.


Lazy Mom Leslie said...

I have a Greek friend that gives me a loaf every Easter. It is amazing!!!

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