Fluffy & Aromatic Tsoureki Bread with Olive Oil
- 750 g strong (bread) flour
- 250 g sugar
- 250 ml lukewarm milk
- 100 ml olive oil (or melted butter)
- 2 large eggs
- 45 g fresh yeast
- 1 ½ tsp mahleb, ground
- ½ tsp Chios mastic, ground
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 egg yolk for brushing
In a bowl combine the yeast with 2 tbsp of the measured sugar, 100 ml of the milk and 2-3 tbsp of the measured flour.
Mix until you have a smooth thick mixture. Cover with food membrane and let it proof for 45 min in a warm spot.
In the bowl of your mixer cream eggs and sugar on high speed. Mix in the rest of the milk and the orange zest. Add the yeast mixture and blend on medium speed until incorporated.
Gradually add flour, 2 -3 tbsp at a time and mix on low speed. Once the ⅔ of the flour is incorporated, add the mahleb, the mastic and the olive oil little by little.
Add the rest of the flour and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth.
Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover with food membrane and allow to rise for 2 hrs in a warm spot.
Oil your working bench and your hands. Take the dough out of the bowl and press gently to deflate.
Weigh the dough and cut it into 9 equal pieces. Braid three medium breads.
Cover and allow to proof for another 35 to 45 minutes. Make sure that they won’t overproof.
Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp of water and gently brush the braids. Optionally, decorate with almonds or sesame seeds.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170⁰C / 340⁰F for 30 to 35 min until a skewer comes out clean and dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.