Tsoureki is the traditional Greek Easter bread and one of the things I like most (making & eating). The recipes are countless and I’ve experimented with many of them. What makes this recipe really different is the addition of buttermilk that produces an unbelievably soft and fluffy crumb. It doesn’t affect the taste of the bread; only its texture. And in my opinion, it is the best of all the recipes I’ve tried so far. Something important I’d like to mention, is that if your baking pan is not enamel, it should definitely have a heavy & thick bottom to ensure that your sweet bread is properly baked. Enjoy!
- 250 ml buttermilk, room temp.
- 260 g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temp.
- 85 g softened butter cubes
- 125 ml warm milk
- 50 g fresh yeast (or 20g dry)
- 1 tbsp sugar (for the yeast)
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp ground mahleb
- 1 tsp ground mastic of Chios
- 900 g all purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ tbsp water
- ½ tsp orange or vanilla extract
- sesame seeds
Start by adding the one tbsp of sugar and the warm milk to the yeast. Mix well.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium speed until pale & creamy.
Add the buttermilk all at once and mix for 30sec.
Continue with the yeast mixture and the orange zest. Mix for 1min.
Add mahleb & mastic and gradually the flour. Knead on low speed for 5min, until the sides of your bowl are clean.
Finish by adding the butter. Knead on medium speed until it’s fully incorporated.
Take the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface. Knead it by hand for a few minutes to smooth it.
Put it in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in warm spot. Let it rise for 90min.
Oil your bench and gently take the dough out. Work it with your hands for a couple of minutes to deflate it.
Weigh the dough and cut it into 18 equal pieces.
Line a round, enamel baking pan with parchment paper, 34cm/13” in diameter.
Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Put them in the pan, one next to the other, leaving some space between them.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot for another 30min.
Mix the egg yolk with the water and the orange extract and gently brush the buns.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds the top of each bun.
Bake in a preheated oven, at 170°C / 325°F, for about 40 min, until a skewer comes out clean!
Transfer on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Enjoy!