Friday, March 26, 2010

seasonal friday

Tsoureki

Ingredients
* 3 1/4 teaspoon(s) dry active yeast
* 1/3 cup(s) light brown sugar
* 1 cup(s) milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
* 5 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) lemon zest
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) anise seed, crushed
* 1 teaspoon(s) salt
* 7 large eggs, 3 left whole and dyed red
* 6 tablespoon(s) butter, melted and cooled
* 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Directions

1. Make the dough: Coat a large bowl with oil and set aside. Dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in the heated milk in a small bowl. Combine 4 1/2 cups flour, the remaining sugar, zest, anise, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and mix on low speed.
2. Add the 4 undyed eggs, the yeast mixture, and the melted butter and continue to mix on low speed until a firm dough forms, adding more flour if necessary (or combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a firm dough forms).
3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until it is soft and elastic -- about 10 minutes. If mixing by hand, knead the dough for 10 more minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the prepared bowl, turning to coat all sides with oil.
4. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in volume -- about 1 hour.
5. Shape the loaf: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Punch down dough, turn out onto a lightly floured board, and divide into three equal parts, approximately 15 ounces each. Using the palms of your hands, roll out one piece to create a 2 1/2-foot-long rope.
6. Repeat with the remaining 2 dough pieces. Braid the three strands together and seal the ends under each other to create a circle. Transfer to a baking sheet. Place the dyed eggs, evenly spaced, in the grooves of the braid, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled -- about 40 minutes.
7. Bake the bread: Brush the loaf with the beaten egg white and bake until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped -- about 30 minutes. Transfer the finished loaf to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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The Boutique Markets Team