I have been desperately looking for a bread recipe that would produce results similar to the recipe that my grandmother brought over from Greece. My grandmother passed away and my mother had a stroke and couldn't remember how to make it. I was too young when my grandmother was alive to have written the recipe down. We tried many recipes but couldn't find the right mix and proportion of ingredients. I asked my husband to search the net for Tsoureki recipes as Easter was coming up. He found several, but I chose this one because the ingredients looked similar to the ones my grandmother used (particularly the masticha and mahlep). The bread turned out phenomenally. The loaves truly are enormous. They took the entire width of the oven. The next time I do this recipe, I will likely make six smaller loave instead of the two large ones, as we give Tsoureki to family members for Easter. My father, not having any faith in me (because I had tried so many recipes in the past), bought eight loves from a Greek bakery and payed close to $10 Canadian per loaf. The consensus of the entire family (including my father) was that of all the bread that anyone had given us or that we had purchased, this recipe was by far the best and truly reminded us all of my grandmother's bread. I must also say that I found this recipe to be virtually foolproof. This was the first time that I had attempted to make bread in years and it came out perfectly on the first try. My first cousin, who was raised in Greece even asked for the recipe so that she could pass it on to her Mother-inlaw who spent most of her adult life in Greece. Thank you Evelyn for helping helping us recover a cherished family recipe. Mary C. (Thorhill, Ontario)
Okay, I have to say this recipe was AMAZING!!!!! I am greek and decided to make tsoureki for the first time with my 3 year old son for our greek Easter. My mother offered her recipe, which is really good, but there really is no recipe. A little of this and a little of that. I can't bake like that!! So I found this recipe and decided to go for it. My bread turned out amazing!!! My mom said that the key to a good tsoureki is when you break it open and there are "strings" inside and not bubbles like regular bread. Well, my bread had more "strings" than my mother's!! :) I made one large, and 2 small ones. Next time I will make 4 small ones as the large one came out HUGE!!! I left out the anise and added an extra 1/4 cup sugar. I also put slivered almonds on top and brushed them with the 2 egg yolks.(as suggested by a reviewer) I kneaded it by hand as it was to much for my kitchen aid mixer. By far, an amazing and easy recipe. Thanks!!
FANTASTIC. Very light, fluffy. Taste was great. I made it as specified, including all options. I used mahlab, because I prefer it over it anise... completely different and unique taste. We'll see how it goes over tomorrow when mom gets here with hers, which is spectacular btw... she just doesn't have an actual recipe, making it difficult for me ;) ... she did give me a few tips... may help others, so here you go... Like someone else mentioned.. oil your hands when braiding and handling dough after the first rise. Don't actually roll the dough strips (for the braid), rather pull/stretch them lightly, then braid. Finally. To prevent the egg topping from burning or darkening too quickly never mix the egg with milk, rather use 1 egg, approx. 1 tsp or so water and 1 tsp veg. oil (don't use olive.. use something nuetral if you don't have veg.) Worked perfectly for me. Thanks Evelyn!!
After years of watching my Greek grandmother and aunts bake this bread I finally decided to try again after a failed attempt a few years back. Great, easy recipe and quite a tasty bread. Be mindful of it browning not only on the top but on the bottom as well. The loaf on the lower oven level got too toasty but I was able to slice it off and save the loaf. I might boost the sugar level a tad or add in more zest next time which did not come through too much.
This is a fabulous recipe!! Very easy to follow. The tsourekia taste the way tsourekia should. If you set out to make them be aware that it is an all day proposition. It took me 7 hours from start to finish with all the rising times. I upped the sugar to 2 cups and left out the ground almonds and the masticha which is way too overwhelming for my taste. As a result I had to increase the flour to 10 and a bit cups. Even so the mixture was still fairly sticky. My mum told me its best to rub a little oil on your hands to be able to knead and roll the dough rather than add more flour which might make the mixture too dry. It was good advice and stopped the dough sticking to my hands (I just used grapeseed oil which is light and neutral). I split the dough into 9 pieces which made 3 generous loaves. I baked them at 160C fan forced for 25 minutes and they turned out perfect. Soft, fluffy and moist and just the right level of sweetness. I got so many compliments on them! Next time I think I'll add the juice of an orange as well as the zest as I prefer a more pronounced orange flavour in my tsourekia.
This is the first time I have made this bread, though I have fond memories of eating it as a teenager in my Greek girlfriend's kitchen. I found the recipe easy to follow and actually had all the ingredients at home - ground my own aniseed seeds. I am glad I made half the recipe as it turned out to be a huge loaf. I found the rising times suggested much longer than necessary and I cooked it at 170C which is a bit cooler than the suggested 360F. Flavour, texture etc just beautiful. And what a delightful aroma throughout the house! An excellent recipe thank you. Now I have had a practice run, I will make it again for Easter - with the red egg.
After making this recipe for the last 5 years, I want to thank Evelyn for the recipe and give all of you readers my tips on what I've learned about this recipe: 1) Reduce heat to 300 F or so: in both my convection and regular ovens, any higher burns the tsoureki badly. 2) Important to cover top and sides tsoureki halfway through baking as Evelyn recommends. You want it golden brown, NOT dark brown! 3) Making this tsoureki takes 5-7 hours in total!! Allow proper amount of time. The process is faster on warm days, longer on cooler days. 4) Eat it within 2 days of baking. It gets hard fast. Your house will smell HEAVENLY as this is baking! And it is truly the best tsoureki recipe I have ever tried. Note that some tsoureki recipes only use mahlepi, but the orange and mastixha are, in my view, what makes this recipe truly great. The only thing I would like to improve a bit about this recipe is that it is a little bit too dense. Perhaps I am not kneading it well enough or letting it rise enough? Any suggestions would be helpful :)
Really great recipe! Its the third time I made it and it hasn't disappointed me.. I can get 5 good sized loaves out of one batch when it says 2 loaves. Make sure you let it rise I know it takes forever but its really worth it!
Brilliant recipe ! my first attempt making tsoureki and they look and taste like my mums. I dropped oven temp to 145C and baked for 40mins as first few I baked we too dark. I will pass this recipe on to others in Melbourne Australia.
This bread is so amazingly awesome. I made it a few weeks after Easter, since I tried a different recipe for Easter and was disappointed. This one has the