Easter Greek Brioche
By yasmine • April 28, 2016
When Sham ElNesseem is coming our way, all I can think of is the smell of my grandmother’s Easter Brioche. She had learned the recipe from a Greek friend in Alexandria using fenugreek. After much research, I decided to modernize the recipe and used mastic and orange peel instead. The taste and aroma are just divine.
It is the type of baking that will make you appreciate your grandmother for putting so much effort into your holiday memories and it will also want to make you extend the family tradition to your kids and bake it yearly just for their happiness.
Serve it with homemade jam like this Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam or honey or just dip it in your tea like a biscuit and let it melt in your mouth!
- 4 cup all purpose flour - دقيق أبيض
- 1/2 cup sugar - سكر
- 1/2 teaspoon mastic / mesteka (grinded to powder) - مستكة
- 2.5 teaspoon yeast - خميرة
- 3/4 cup milk - لبن
- 2 eggs - بيض
- 100 gram butter (melted) - زبدة
- 1 orange peel of 1 orange - قشر برتقال
- 1 egg - بيضة
- 2 tablespoon milk - لبن
- 2 tablespoon sugar - سكر
Step by step
- Melt the butter in a small pot on low heat for a couple of minutes. Don't allow it to sizzle. Set aside and allow it to cool. Next, warm the milk and sprinkle the yeast on it. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, sift flour into a large bowl, and add sugar and ground mastic.
- In a large blender or using a handheld mixer, beat eggs then add orange peel followed by the cooled melted butter. Beat until combined and smooth. Add the milk and yeast mixture and whisk further.
- While the blender is still on, gradually add the flour mix, half cup at a time. Let the flour dissolve and watch as the dough becomes thicker. After adding all the flour, stop the blender and move the dough to a clean surface.
- Knead the dough making sure all flour is well-combined. You should knead it all over for 10 minutes. This part is very important to help the yeast grow the dough. If the dough is too tough, add some milk or melted butter. If it is too loose, dust it with some more flour. Its texture should be soft, slightly sticky and pulls away from the side.
- Butter a large bowl completely and place the dough like a big ball in it. Cover with buttered cling film. Set aside in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Ten minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 180C. Line a large oven tray with parchment paper.
- To create an easter braid, divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll out each part on a clean surface into identical thick ropes. Stick one end of all three ropes to each other. Loosely braid ropes together then pinch the other ends to seal. Place loaf diagonally on baking tray and place it in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the egg and milk topping. After 15 minutes, take out your Easter bread, brush it with the mixture all over then sprinkle sugar on top. (If you plan to add colored Easter eggs, now would be perfect to tuck them into the braid openings). Place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. If it is not nice and golden, put the broiler on for 2 minutes.
- Let it cool for about 15 minutes before you dig into it. Slice it upon serving like toast bread and serve it with honey or jam or just toss it into your tea!
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