Ingrients & Directions

2 pk Active dry yeast -; (1/4 oz
2 c Warm milk
9 c All-purpose flour; plus more
1 1/2 c Sugar
2 ts Mahlepi; see * Note
1 Stick unsalted butter;
-melted, cooled
Butter for bowl and baking
6 lg Eggs
1 tb Orange zest; grated
1 tb Lemon zest; grated
1/2 ts Salt
4 Hard-boiled eggs; dyed red
1 tb Sesame seeds

* Note: A fruity spice available at Greek food stores.

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Stir in 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup
sugar. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, steep mahlepi in 1/2 cup simmering water. Let stand for 5
minutes. Strain, and discard mahlepi. Let cool.

Add mahlepi infusion, butter, and five eggs to yeast mixture, and combine
thoroughly. Add orange and lemon zest. Sift in flour, sugar, and salt; stir
with a wooden spoon until dough is formed. Knead dough in bowl until
smooth, about 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball, and transfer to a lightly
buttered bowl. Cover, and let rise for 2 hours. Punch dough down, and
transfer to a lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into six equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope,
about 15-inches long. Tightly braid three ropes together, beginning in the
middle. Repeat with remaining three ropes. Tuck a red egg into the first
and last plait, using a small piece of dough coiled around each egg to hold
in place, if necessary. Place each loaf on a buttered baking sheet, cover
loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush
bread with egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to oven, and
bake until golden, 50 to 60 minutes.

Makes 2 large loaves.

Cuisine: “Greek”
1 servings