Greek Easter Bread or Traditional Tsoureki in the ABM
Easter Bread is a very common and lovely sweet bread that can be consumed at tea or coffee time or even at breakfast.
In many European countries, there are various traditions surrounding the use of bread during the Easter holiday. In Greece the traditional "tsoureki" is baked in Easter time. If you search the Internet you will find many different but very close recipes for tsoureki.
Easter bread is a delicious sweet bread that can have a light citrus or mahaleb flavor, can be topped with nuts or peanuts or sesame seeds, and can also include the traditional red Easter egg among its braids which is cooked together with the bread.
The bread is not only found at Easter time but it is cooked throughout the year as it is a very common and lovely sweet bread that can be consumed at tea or coffee time or even at breakfast.
In this article I will not give you the actual traditional recipe but rather a much simple and light recipe which you can bake in your automatic bread machine (ABM) without even the need to wash your hands.
It is a very easy recipe. But it may be the case that you will not easily find some of the ingredient. However this is not a problem at all, as you can replace them with other things and retain the traditional Easter bread flavor. As I said there may be as many recipes as the number of cooks. I will give you some alternative ingredients that you can use instead.
To make your light Easter bread in your ABM you need the following :
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup water (or light milk)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or the equivalent amount of butter)
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 3 cups of white flower (better if you sift it)
- 2 tsp instant dry yeast
- one pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of mahaleb
- 2-4 drops of mastic gum
- 1 tsp biscuit weed seeds
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp peanuts peeled and halved
"Mahaleb" is a spice made by grinding the cherry seeds of the prunus mahaleb tree, a tree from the cherry family, which is cultivated solely for this spice.
"Mastic" is the aromatic resin of an evergreen shrub from the pistachio family. It is sold in forms of drops. Put the drops into a small plastic bag and let them stay in the freeze for some time then hammer them over the bag to powder them otherwise in room temperature they are in the form of gum.
Alternatively you can use vanilla extract, or the rind of a lemon or orange, or even anise seeds.
Now let me tell you how to cook the bread. Put the first four ingredients into you ABM and give it a run so as to beat the eggs with sugar and milk. Then stop the program open the cover of your ABM and add the next five ingredients in the list. Then restart your machine once again to cook your Easter bread. When your ABM signals add the last three ingredients alternatively you can put them from the beginning. At the end of your cooking time take the bread out and let it rest to cool down.
Enjoy your Easter Bread with tea or coffee.
Bon apetit !
May 04, 2009