Tsoureki (Greek Egg Loaf)

Greek Egg Loaf (Tsoureki)

All the measurements here are correct. It makes 7 loaves! Aspasia said, “As a Greek woman..if you are going to put aside a day to make bread...MAKE IT LARGE!!!:

12  eggs

1 lb  butter, unsalted

1  cup vegetable oil

2  cups milk

2  cups hot water

2  cups sugar

2  tbsp ouzo

1  envelope ground machlepi

3  envelopes yeast (for pizza dough)

3-4  kilos white flour

sesame seeds/shaved almonds

In bowl #1 (small), place yeast with 1 cup hot water and 2 tbsp. of sugar.  Let rise for 20 minutes.

In bowl #2 (small), mix melted butter and 1 cup hot water and oil.

In bowl#3 (large), mix sugar, milk, eggs (beaten), ouzo and machlepi.

Add bowls #1 & #2 into bowl #3 and mix well.  Slowly add flour and mix with hands until dough is formed.  Knead until consistent.

Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic and cover it with blankets to keep it warm.  Let rise for 2.5 hours.

Separate the dough into small balls and roll out into long cylinders.  Braid 3 of these into a loaf and place onto greased baking pan.  Cover and let the loaves rise in the pans for 1 hour.

With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the loaves with a mixture of egg, milk and sugar.  You can add sesame seeds or shaved almonds on top.  You may also add a red egg for decoration.

Bake in hot oven at  200 ° C for 10 minutes (to brown tops) and then 150 °C for 45 minutes.  If they become too browned, place some foil over the loaves.

When finished baking, remove from oven and  let cool before eating.