Vasilopeta (Greek New Year's Bread)

"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)"
photo by linkot_4965160 photo by linkot_4965160
photo by linkot_4965160
Ready In:
5hrs 20mins
2 loaves




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. Mirj2338
    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!
  2. linkot_4965160
    Happy New Year! Joy & Peace in 2013<br/><br/>Chose not to braid and used a parchment collar to get a high rise ... cut '2013' into the dough with a very sharp knife.
  3. mianbao
    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.



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