Tsourekia (singular tsoureki) pronounced tsou-RHE-khia, is a kind of brioche bread which is made in Greece during Easter.
In Cyprus we did not use to make tsourekia, so this is something I have learned after coming to Greece.
The other day I was looking through my old note book with recipes and I found this magazine clipping which I had glued in the note book many years ago and I decided to use this as a base.
The only flavourings in this recipe was lemon rind and anise seeds. I added cardamom, mahleb and mastic resin, which is common to use in tsourekia and I filled it with marmalade and merenda (Greek type of nutella) and sprinkled almonds on top. The amount of flour given in the recipe was not enough and I adjusted that.
I used three fillings to see which one would work best. One was with my strawberry jam and it was very good, the other with merenda (the equivalent to nutella) and that was very good as well and the third was with my lemon marmalade I made the other day and the result was extraordinary. (Hopefully I shall post about this soon but this week I will be posting mostly recipes having to do with Easter, so if any one wants the recipe soon I can e-mail it to you).
Needless to say that there were none left in less than 24 hours but next week I shall make a double dose only with the lemon filling.
These will be perfect for breakfast.
Tsoureki with lemon marmalade filling, recipe adapted by Ivy
Preparation time: 1 hour
Baking time: 30 – 40 minutes
(about 1 – 2 extra hours for the dough to rise)
Makes: 10 small tsourekia
- 7 grams dry yeast (or 100 grams fresh yeast)
- 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk
- 1.100 grams of enriched flour or all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds boiled in 1 cup of water
- 220 grams sugar (or 1 cup)
- 220 grams of butter (or 1 cup)
- 4 eggs
- 1 yolk mixed with a spoonful of milk for glazing
- ½ teaspoon of ground mahleb
- ½ teaspoon of ground mastic resin
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of sugar (for the yeast) + extra for sprinkling on top
- Blanched and cut almonds
For the filling
- Strawberry Jam
- Lemon Marmalade
- Merenda (nutella)
- In a small bowl add a few spoonfuls of flour in which mix the yeast and sugar and then mix with lukewarm milk.Cover with lid and leave to rise (about half an hour).
- Untilthisisready, boilthewaterwiththeaniseseedsand drain keeping the water.Grate the lemon, pound the mastic gum and the mahleb and blanche and cut the almonds.With a hand mixer beat the butter and sugar until white and fluffy.
- In a big bowl put the flour, reserving about a cup, and add the yeast, the eggs, the salt, the mastic and mahleb and lemon rind as well as the butter-sugar mixture and mix, adding the lukewarm anise water.Knead with your hands until the dough does not stick on the bowl or your hands.Coverthebowlwithitslidandplaceitinabaking tin with lukewarm water and leave it for about an hour to rise and double in volume.
- Knead again a couple of times and take three pieces the size of your fist.Roll out into rectangular sheets about 5 x 3 inches and add either jam or merenda on one side and then make a roll and with your hands try to make each roll a little bit longer.When all three are ready stick the ends together and form into a plait.You can make any shapes you like or you can just make it like a cake.
- Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place each plait in it but not too close to each other.Cover with cling film and then cover with a napkin and it must rest to rise for about an hour, in which time it will rise again.
- We can also make one big roll and just give it a simple twist.
- Brush with the egg-milk mixture on top and sprinkle some sugar and some blanched almond flakes.
- Preheat oven at 180οand bake for about 30 – 40minutes until a nice brown colour is achieved.
Note: Without the filling it is not sweet so if you do not want to add the filling you can add ½ cup of extra sugar in the butter.