Saturday, April 07, 2007

Greek Easter bread

I like to bake a variety of bread to celebrate Easter as for us Easter is not so much about elaborate dinners but all about elaborate breakfasts, or rather brunches. Egg-hunt is first of course, the boys are now 10 and 13 and the times when DH Easter bunny hides the eggs are replaced by the boys and their father taking turns in finding impossible spots to put eggs in.... Yes, we count and yes there are always eggs MIA....(Missing In Action).
We enjoy sitting together and have a choice of different breads and pastries, eggs of course and Matse or Matzoh in English. Easter is just not complete without the large round ones! (My mom always had these for Easter). Some fresh OJ, coffee and/or tea and two work-free days ahead of you. What better way to start a day?

And now I suppose you were wondering what you were looking at in the picture above? Well it is this bread, a spiral or snail, based on a white dough, seasoned with orange. In the original version I would have had to use mahleb and mastic which were not available and so I decided to give this bread a definite orange twist. The egg in the middle is dyed a vivid red in the Greek tradition, which stands for the ancient symbols of spring and fertility.
The resulting bread is very soft crumbed, almost cake-like, yellowish in color due to the eggs and a very nice citrus aroma. I decided to pair this bread with soft orange butter spiked with orange liqueur. Sunny? Very sunny and yummy too!

The recipe is adapted from this new book I bought (well eh..I was looking for a present for a dear friend, found the book, decided it was spot-on and since there were two copies....I suddenly thought of myself as another dear friend who really really needed a new book on baking, ahum).
So, for no other reason than sheer greed, a copy of "Home Baking" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid is in my kitchen. I will add the recipe here as soon as possible...have to go hunt for some other things groceries and curtains.... be right back soon! In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!


  1. Karen,
    I can't believe it but this is TRUE. Last night I was home alone and picked up this cookbook to read while half watching TV. I opened it up to the exact page of the Easter Bread you just made! Yes, it was "Home Baking" and it is a wonderful book with great stories of food from around the world. Tanna and I bought this book together also like you and your friend. Easter at your house must smell divine with all the baked goods! Beautiful breads you made this year and last Easter also! Sue

  2. I always am in awe at the beauty of your breads. They always look like they came from a grand bakery! I really think you maybe a professional baker and just aren't telling us. This bread is fantastic! I readlly want lessons.
    I am so glad you can be such a good friend to yourself!! There can be no greed involved when you share the labors of your book with the family for breakfast/brunch.
    It is an amazingly beautiful and inspiring book, one Sue and I spent a long time going through together and now I've baked from several times with great results.
    I'm comtemplating what to bake for tomorrow but the books at Jason's are limited, so it maybe hot cross buns.
    Happy Easter...count carefully!

  3. I've made tsoureki for two years now, and am just about to make my third - I love Greek food! I used a recipe by Paul Hollywood on the previous occasions, but tonight will use Theodore Kyriakou's recipe from his Real Greek At Home. I'm also lucky enough to have some mastic and mahlep at home, bought from a Greek shop in London. They give such an unusual flavour to the bread - do try to get hold of them!!
    Lovely snail-shaped bread you've got there!

  4. Karen dit brood ziet er inderdaad majestueus uit, heel erg mooi. Sluit me volledig bij de dames hierboven aan. Wat goed om jezelf een kado te doen, na al dat stof van die verbouwing. Leuk om te weten welk boek er nu ook bij L. in de kast staat ;)
    hier krijgen we vast nog heel veel lekkere dingen uit te zien!! Verheug me er nu al op.

  5. Alles is al gezegd hierboven, 'k kan het enkel beamen: prachtig brood, Karen!

  6. Hi Karen, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I checked out your Waiter... entry and now this Tsoureki! Yours turned out sooo much better than mine, Kudos! I love the bilingual thing you have going even though I don't speak Dutch.

  7. Ik kom er een beetje achteraandraven, maar de tsoureki hoort bij mij ook tot de jaarlijkse traditie. Als je wil kan ik je voor een volgende paasbrood-editie een klein zakje mastiek en mahleb opsturen. Dat heb ik al eerder eens gedaan voor leden van het bakkersforum!
    Je brood ziet er trouwens heerlijk uit. Ik maak er vlechtbroden van, zonder het rode ei; die zet ik in een kom ernaast.


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