Easter Tsoureki (brioche-like bread) with painted red eggs
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) flour for brioche
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 230 g. (8.1 ozs) butter from milk
- 40 g. (1.41 ozs) fresh yeast
- 5 eggs (2 yolks and 3 whole)
- 1 cup lukewarm evaporated milk (undiluted)
- 1 teaspoon crushed machlepi
- 1 teaspoon crushed mastic
- 1 vanilla powder
- some salt
For coating and decoration
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 50 g. (1.76 ozs) blanched almonds
- painted red hard-boiled eggs
In a large bowl put some flour and some sugar and stir. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk and pour it into the bowl, stirring the mixture constantly until it becomes mush. Cover the mush with a towel and leave it to "rest" in a warm place, for about 1 hour, so as to rise. Put the remaining flour in another bowl, make a small puddle in the center and throw the eggs there (yolks and whole eggs, slightly beaten) the machlepi, mastic and vanilla. Knead well until they are all combined together.
Heat the butter (without it burning) and add it in small quantities in the flour-eggs mixture until it is completely absorbed. Then pour in the mush. Continuously knead until the dough starts to come off from the hands and the bowl. If necessary, add a little more flour. Leave the dough in a warm place until it doubles in volume (1-2 hours).
You take the dough and knead it a bit more. Form the buns in a shape of your preference (round or braids). With this amount of dough you will get 3 to 4 buns. Leave the Tsourekia to rise until doubled in volume. Place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Dip red eggs into the dough and leave it rise again. Beat the egg yolks with the milk and spread the buns one by one with the mixture, using a brush. Sprinkle them on top with almonds. Bake them for 35'to 40' minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) until they turn golden brown.