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image © Homemade Greek Easter Bread with Red Eggs

Is it Tsoureki, Challah or Brioche?

It is Greek Easter week and you might have noticed that lots of Greek people have posted in the social media photos of a long bread with an egg(s) in the middle. Several of our readers are curious, therefore, we decided to write an article about Greek Tsoureki.

What is the Greek Tsoureki?

Tsoureki is a Greek holiday bread that is typically made by Greeks during Easter.

What is the difference between Tsoureki, Challah or Brioche?

When you look at the recipe for tsoureki, it will definitely remind you of Jewish challah bread or French brioche. The basic ingredients are the same; butter, milk, sugar, yeast, eggs, flour. However, what makes tsoureki different is a spice called mahlepi, which is made from the seeds found inside a type of cherry stone. That spice, when cooked, gives a sweet smell and taste.

Are there any religious connotations in terms of Tsoureki?

You typically make tsoureki on Good Thursday but you don’t eat it before the end of Saturday because, in religious practices, in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, you shouldn’t be eating dairy products.

Where are there three plaits that are braided?

Typically, there are three plaits that are braided in tsoureki. These are made to represent the Holy Trinity; God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. When the dough has fully proved and is about to go into the oven, some people stamp the dough with the stamp of the local church.

Then there are the blood-red, hard-boiled eggs. Read here why Greeks dye their eggs red.

Easter sweet bread dough with red eggs

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