4/11/09

Tsoureki


Leece's Tsoureki came out rather well. It's extremely good. So good, in fact, that it seems downright sinful to eat it, and it's probably illegal in at least fifteen states.

Tsoureki is a sweet Easter bread from Greece.

From Recipe Zaar:

This is a traditional Easter bread served in Greece to break the Lenten fast. It is traditionally braided, with a red-dyed*, hard-boiled egg inserted at one end, and then baked. Beautiful to look at - delicious to eat. Like many yeast breads, these loaves require two risings, so take that into consideration when timing to make them. I like to eat it most at breakfast, with a piece of graviera (a Greek cheese resembling Swiss) and a huge glass of ice-cold milk. A bite of tsoureki; a nibble of cheese; a swallow of cold milk - heaven!!!


The red eggs are dyed with a Greek dye available from most Greek markets, as are the other Greek specialty ingredients. The red signifies the blood of Christ. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, the eggs are usually dyed on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). After the midnight Resurrection Service on Holy Saturday, the eggs are broken, and the first thing eaten in breaking the Lenten fast is these eggs. Each person cracks an egg with a friend or relative. One says, "Christ has risen", and the friend responds, "Truly he has risen". Then the bread, which is insanely rich - the only thing I have seen on a par with this bread is Marcel Gousse' croissants - then the bread is eaten. Gousse was patissier on the SS France, and his croissants are legendary. That recipe is available on the 'net.

The recipe from Recipe Zaar is similar to the one published in Thursday's Tribune-Democrat. You can find it here:

Tsoureki Greek Easter Sweet Bread