Vasilopeta (Greek New Year's Bread)

Total Time
5hrs 20mins
Prep 4 hrs 30 mins
Cook 50 mins

This is the only bread I will make by hand, NOT using my beloved bread machine. Everyone loves this bread, especially our old Labrador Retriever who, years ago, stole a loaf off of the Thanksgiving table and left the turkey alone! (prep time includes rising times)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, add milk and salt.
  2. Stir in 3 C flour, batter will be lumpy.
  3. Let rise in a warm place about 90 minutes till double in volume.
  4. Mix in sugar, eggs, yolks, butter and lemon peel.
  5. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (7-8C).
  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5- 10 minutes till smooth and elastic.
  7. Shape into a ball and place in large greased bowl,turning to bring greased side up.
  8. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 60-70 minutes.
  9. Punch down dough and knead 1-2 minutes; let rest 10 minutes.
  10. Grease 2 bread pans.
  11. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces.
  12. Cut one piece into 3 equal pieces and roll each into a 15 inch cylinder.
  13. Braid the 3 cylinders, pinching the ends to seal.
  14. Tuck ends under and place in prepared pan.
  15. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
  16. Cover loaves and let rise till double in volume, about45 minutes.
  17. Heat oven to 350, brush top of loaves with beaten egg, and bake 45- 50 minutes till bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  18. If bread seems to be getting too brown after 20 minutes or so, cover them loosely with foil.
  19. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks 5 minutes.
  20. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely.
Most Helpful

Yogi has the best bread recipes on Zaar. We were going away to visit relatives over the weekend and I made up a batch of these braided and passed it off as challah. The egg yolks make this bread super rich, and the lemon zest makes it really special! I used soy milk to keep the recipe non-dairy, and kneaded the whole thing by hand (very good when you are super-stressed, I kept working the dough imagining it was all the people who had gotten up my nose that week). I braided the dough, but then baked them in loaf tins, so they rose up beautifully. Yogi, together with your Tasty Buns, you are my Bread Queen!

Mirj March 30, 2003

Happy New Year! Joy & Peace in 2013

Chose not to braid and used a parchment collar to get a high rise ... cut '2013' into the dough with a very sharp knife.

linkot_4965160 December 31, 2012

Wonderful! I made half of the recipe, making up one small braid, but shaping the rest of the dough into buns filled with apple cooked with honey and cinnamon. I got about 25 40-gram buns, and 1 235-gram braid. The dough is so easy to work with and delightfully tender and light. Thank you very much for the recipe, Yogi.

mianbao October 19, 2003