This Greek Traditional Homemade Tsoureki Recipe is easy to follow and will give you 2 large soft, fluffy and stringy braids or many smaller mini Tsoureki braids.
What are the spices used in this Greek Traditional Homemade Tsoureki Recipe?
The spices used for this recipe are Mahleb (also known as Mahlepi or Mahlab) powder and cardamon powder. Mahleb has a cherry and bitter admin taste and smells absolutely amazing. It is the basic ingredient in this authentic homemade Tsoureki recipe. Cardamon is also a sweet spice that absolutely compliments Mahleb.
Can I freeze Tsoureki?
The simple answer is Yes! Yes you can freeze this sweet brioche type bread from this Greek Traditional Homemade Recipe.
Love Tsoureki? Why not have a go at my other delicious Tsoureki recipes?
If you are like me and adore chocolate, then try the Greek Marble Tsoureki ( Chocolate Easter Bread) and Greek Mini Two Tone Cocoa Tsoureki with Syrup (Easter bread). If you would like a healthier Tsoureki version but still retaining chocolatey flavour, then try Tsoureki with Carob flour.
Would you like to experiment? Why not try a savoury Tsoureki? Like my Savoury Tsoureki loaf with Feta cheese, spinach and leek. Make Vasilopita Tsoureki (Greek New Year’s Brioche Type bread) for New Year’s and amaze your guests!
Greek Traditional Homemade Tsoureki Recipe
- 1200g strong four (12-13% protein content)
- 75gr fresh yeast or 23gr dry yeast
- 225gr water
- 6 eggs
- 370gr sugar
- 160gr milk
- 140gr sunflower oil
- 100gr butter (82% fat content)
- 10gr mahleb (mahalepi) powder
- 3gr cardamon powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3-4 vanilla drops
- 1 orange zest
- 2-3 tablespoons oil (for work surface)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Almond slivers (optional)
For this recipe you will need:
1 large, 1 small bowl, 1 small saucepan, hand mixer, baking tray 30x40cm, silicone brush and parchment paper
- To prepare this Greek Traditional Homemade Tsoureki recipe start by gathering the ingredients and the kitchen equipment. Weigh up the ingredients and set them aside. Sift the flour and add the salt.
- To activate the yeast dissolve it in lukewarm water (30C) and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 cup of flour in a bowl. Do not add extra sugar or flour, but rather use up from the sugar and flour you have for this recipe. Set the yeast aside for 15 minutes.
- In a separate saucepan warm up the milk to 30C. Once it lukewarm, remove the saucepan from the hob. Turn off the hob. Add eggs, sunflower, mahlab powder, cardamon powder, orange zest, vanilla drops and the remaining sugar. Whisk for a few minutes. Place the saucepan on the hob just long enough to warm up the mixture. You need to be careful with this step and place the saucepan with the ingredients long enough to warm the mixture up. Placing the egg mixture for a longer time will result in an omelette.
- Continue by adding the activated yeast mixture and whisk with a hand mixer. Transfer your mixture to a larger bowl, add salt and slowly the flour in batches. Knead for approximately 5 minutes until a soft dough is formed.
- Melt the butter and add it in the dough mixture. Knead for a further 5 minutes until the melted butter is incorporated into the dough.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and let it proof for 30-35 minutes. I find proofing in the oven extremely easy and convenient. Turn the oven on at 50C or 122F for 10 minutes and switch it off after this time. In the bottom of the oven place a baking dish with boiling hot water. Place the dough in an oven safe bowl and let it proof. If you would rather proof the dough in a warm place, then let it proof for 45-55 minutes.
- Once the dough for this Traditional Homemade Tsoureki recipe has proved, preheat the oven to 160C or 320C. Flour your work surface with approximately 2 tablespoons worth of flour and oil your hands to shape the dough.
- Knead the dough lightly (knock the air) and just enough so that it becomes less airy, ie for approximately 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll 6 strands of 50cm or 20 inches. Braid the dough and place it in a baking tray lined by parchment paper.
- Place the braided dough proof for a second time for 25-30 minutes in a warm place.
- In the meantime whisk one egg with 1 tablespoon of water (eg wash). Once the braided tsoureki dough has doubled in size, brush the loaves with the egg wash and decorate with almonds.
- Bake them for 45 minutes at 160C or 320F.
- Reduce baking time to 35 minutes if you make multiple small braids.