Friday, 8 May 2015

Easter tsoureki - a spiced, plaited enriched (dairy free) bread

Easter came and went earlier this month - we had family visiting which was lovely, and were doing our utmost to blitz the jungle that is our garden. We're hoping to host Harry's first birthday party out there, and it's a long way from family friendly right now.  Harry and I of course are dairy free so between that and Slimming world, there was no chocolate in sight for us. It's not the hardship it felt before Christmas, but sometimes something sweet is just what I need.

I live in a Greek area of London and tried Tsoureki a few years back, Paul Hollywood then made a loaf as part of one of the Bake off seasonal specials. I'd been meaning to make it for ages, and luckily enough was able to grab the spices from our local Greek grocer. I have to say I found Paul Hollywood's recipe horribly bland, so this is my souped up, dairy free version.

Spiced Easter bread (dairy free, soya free)

500g strong, white bread flour
1.5tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
60g Vitalite (or Pure sunflower - I've tried it with both)
75g caster sugar
1/2 tsp gum mastic
1/2 tsp mahleb
1/2 tsp sweet mixed spice
150ml water
150ml almond milk
150g sultanas

I made this in my Kmix, but you could easily make it by hand

Put the flour, yeast, salt, Vitalite and sugar in the bowl, add the spices.
Mix the water and almond milk together and add slowly with the mixer running. You want a really soft dough.
Add the Vitalite and sultanas, then knead the dough for about 10 minutes
Put clingfilm over the bowl of your mixer and leave to rest - I popped it on a radiator once, and the second time on the kitchen worktop overnight
Split the risen dough into three evenly sized portions and roll these out into long sausage shapes. Plait them, tucking the ends under. Pop on a lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise somewhere warm until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Eggwash the bread - I did a double eggwash so that it was a beautiful dark glaze
Bake for 20 minutes, then leave to cool
Serve buttered, or on day two toasted and buttered.

Look how popular it was!

I'm entering this into this month's Bready Steady Go - hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for families this month - but run by her and Jen's Food


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