Amy Riolo: Greek Easter bread is a beautiful edible centerpiece that's fun to make. Let's begin by proofing our yeast.
I have two and a quarter teaspoons of dry yeast and three quarters cup of lukewarm milk and I am going to add the yeast to the milk and then whisk it in. We will set this aside and now we can cream our butter and our sugar together. So I've got a quarter of a cup of butter, this is at room temperature and I have three tablespoons of sugar. I am just going to add those in together.
Now that our butter and sugar are completely creamed together, we can go ahead and add in our yeast mixture and I am also going to add in two eggs. That's going to help the bread to be really rich. And we will just mix this on low-speed.
Now, everything is completely mixed together, so we can go ahead and add in our dry ingredients. I have half a teaspoon of salt, four cups of flour, then we have a teaspoon of allspice, and two teaspoons of cinnamon. These spices really give this Greek bread its signature flavor.
Now I am going to switch from my paddle attachment into a kneading hook, in that way I don't need to actually knead the bread with my hands and then we will let it knead for three minutes. If you don't have a dough hook, you can definitely knead by hand, it will take about ten minutes.
This is what it looks like when you're finished kneading it. We're just going to put a kitchen towel over and cover it and we will let it rise for an hour. Then when we come back, we will punch it down and shape it.
People are often intimidated by breading Greek Easter bread, but it's actually really easy. This is how we do it. I'm going to put some flour on my work surface here and then I'll turn the dough out right onto the top and then what I need to do with this dough is make three equal size balls. And then you want to make these into little log shapes. So now we will start to roll out each of our logs until they become about 12 inch long ropes, just work back and forth and grab as you need to, just to make the strand a little bit longer.
We have our three 12 inch ropes shaped and I am going to place them onto the baking sheet. Start breading by bringing together the first top pieces, just placing all three one on top of the other and pressing down to make them seal. Then I will take the left piece and come right over the middle. Then I will take the right piece and come right over the left and I'll repeat that right in the middle and the same thing with the other piece. Then connect the two, right at the very bottom, just like we did at the top.
Then we can go ahead and stick our eggs right in the middle. These are eggs which we have dyed bright red just traditional for Greek Easter. Now we will cover our bread and let this rest for another hour. Then we will glaze it and bake it.
This is what it looks like and we can whisk together our glaze. I am going to start out with an egg yolk. I am going to add in a teaspoon of water. Then we add in a teaspoon of honey. We will just whisk those up to combine. As soon as you've mixed everything together, we can go ahead and brush it onto our bread just like this. It's kind of like painting.
Now I have my oven preheated to 350 degrees. I'm going to bake this for about 30-40 minutes or just until it's golden. So here we have our Greek Easter bread, a delicious way to celebrate spring. Enjoy!