Thursday, March 25, 2010

Greek Easter Bread

With Easter on it's way, I've made one of my favorite Easter recipes, Greek Easter Bread.  This bread is not only Delicious (it tastes very similar to Hawaiian Bread), it is Absolutely Gorgeous! It will look Beautiful on your special Easter table at breakfast or dinner.  It also makes a delicious french toast, when sliced.
Bon Appetit!  
 20 Servings

The Recipe

1 t. allspice                                                             1/2 sugar
2 t. cinnamon                                                          3 T. butter
1 cup warm water                                                    2 large eggs
pinch of salt                                                            2 egg whites
pinch of sugar                                                         1 t. salt
2 packages yeast                                                     1 T. water
4 3/4 cups unbleached flour                                      1 large egg yoke

Combine water, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, and yeast in a large bowl, stir with a whisk.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup flour to the yeast mixture and stir until combined.  Let stand 20 minutes.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the allspice and cinnamon.  Add the yeast mixture to the butter mixture and mix with a whisk until well combined.  Stir in 1 t. salt.  Add 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup at a time.  The dough will be sticky.

Place the dough in a large bowl, coated well with cooking spray, coat the top as well.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until size has doubled.

Divide dough into 3 equal portions.  Shape each portion into 14-inch-long ropes.  Place the ropes lengthwise on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Pinch the ends together at one end to seal.  Braid the ropes and pinch the end pieces to seal.  Lightly coat with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until size is doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1 T. water and egg yolk, stirring with a whisk.  Brush half of yolk mixture over the loaf.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Repeat with the remaining egg yolk mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Mmmm...!

This recipe is from Cooking Light, so the recipe has already been lightened.  I have cut a tad more fat and cholesterol in the recipe by using 2 egg whites, along with 2 whole eggs.  This does not compromise the taste or texture of the bread. 


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