Greek brioche

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Tsoureki (Photo: Misha Jordaan)
Tsoureki (Photo: Misha Jordaan)
Prep Time: 30 min
Servings: Makes 2 large loaves
Cooking Time: 30-40min
  • 250g - butter
  • 250ml - milk
  • 125ml - sugar
  • 125ml - cold water
  • 10g - packet instant yeast
  • 1kg - bread flour + extra for rolling
  • - grated zest of 1 orange
  • 5ml - allspice
  • 2,5ml - each ground cinnamon and aniseed
  • 5ml - salt
  • - 4 eggs
  • 5ml - vanilla essence
  • 1 - egg beaten with a bit of water
  • - a handful almond flakes (for sprinkling)

Keep an electric mixer with a dough hook handy, as well as a large baking sheet lined with greased baking paper.

1 Heat the milk, half the butter and the sugar in a small saucepan, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved.

2 Transfer the mixture to a large jug and add the cold water. Stir in the yeast, then leave to stand for 15 minutes or until a foam forms on top.

3 Mix the bread flour, orange zest, spices and salt together in the bowl of the mixer, then make a well in the middle. Add the eggs and vanilla essence to the yeast mixture and beat until well combined, then pour into the well in the flour mixture.

4 Mix the dough until it starts clinging to the dough hook. Mix for about 5 minutes – if the dough is still too sticky, add a little flour. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise for about 2 hours or until double in volume.

5 Return to the mixer and add the rest of the butter. Mix until all the butter has been absorbed into the mixture. Cover the dough and leave to rise in a warm spot for another hour.

6 Lightly knead the dough. Divide into 6 balls, roll the balls into strips and braid 3 strips into each other. Repeat with the rest. Lastly, paint egg on top, sprinkle almonds over, and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

7 Heat the oven to 180°C and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. Leave to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature.

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