Greek Easter Bread
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare 3 hard-boiled white eggs. Using a strong red dye, let the eggs stand in the dye at least overnight or longer, until deep red. Buy Greek Easter egg dye at a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern market, or use gel dye.
  2. Whisk the yeast into the warm water and let stand until it is thick and bubbly.
  3. Beat softened butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and beat til blended. Beat in egg, citrus peels, salt, and mahleb. Beat in milk, then yeast. Don’t worry if the mixture seems to “break” or be a little less smooth; it will come back together as you add the flour. Beat in 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add remaining flour, about 1 cup, using a spatula. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead in the bowl, then turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes; you want a nice soft, satiny dough in the end; add small amounts of flour if needed.
  4. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, between 2 and 3 hours. Gently knead dough, then divide in 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Place 3 ropes side by side, and braid (see video above). Form rope into a ring, making 3 indentations. Place dyed eggs (thoroughly blotted dry after removing from dye) in equidistant indentations in the braid. Cover and let rise in warm area until puffed and light, about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Brush with beaten egg or egg white, then place in middle of oven. After 20 minutes baking, turn the bread for even heating and bake an additional 10 minutes. Bread is done when golden and when a tap on the bottom produces a hallow sound. Cool. Can be made ahead one day.
Recipe Notes

Based on a recipe in the April 2004 edition of Bon Apetit magazine.

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