Vasilopeta (Greek New Year's Bread)

Recipe by Yogi8
READY IN: 5hrs 20mins
YIELD: 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.