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Tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) - Easter Recipe

This traditional Greek Easter bread is delicately soft and sweet. It's delightful eaten fresh form the oven and as leftovers it makes fantastic French toast.

Preparation and cooking time

Prep: 30 minutes

Cooking: 45 minutes

Serves: 12


  • 2 tsp (1 sachet/7g) dried yeast

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lukewarm water

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

  • 3/4 cup (185ml) milk

  • 80g butter, chopped

  • 4 1/2 cups (675g) plain flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind

  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

  • 2 tsp almond extract

  • 1 tsp ground star anise

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp milk, extra

  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds

  • Dyed eggs, to decorate (see tip below)



Combine the yeast, water and 2 tsp of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 mins or until the mixture is frothy.


Meanwhile, place the milk, butter and remaining sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins or until butter melts and mixture is just heated through. Set aside for 5 mins to cool.


Place flour, salt, orange rind, lemon rind, almond extract, star anise and fennel seeds in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, milk mixture and eggs. Stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 3 even portions. Roll each portion into a 40cm log. Place the dough logs on the lined tray and braid them together. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 mins to rise.


Whisk egg yolk and extra milk in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg yolk mixture evenly over the dough and sprinkle with the almond.


Gently nestle dyed eggs in dough.


Bake for 35-40 mins or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on base. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • Allow for cooling and rising time.

  • Prep the eggs: Traditionally, the dyed eggs on tsoureki are red, but you can make them any colour you like. To do it, place 2 cups (500ml) boiling water, 1 tbs white vinegar and a little food colouring in a heatproof bowl. Add hard-boiled eggs. Soak for 5 mins. Transfer to a plate and set aside to dry. Spray with olive oil spray and rub with paper towel.


Nutrition: Per Serving

Energy: 1385kj (331cal)

Protein: 8.6g

Total Fat: 8.6g

Saturated: 4.3g

Carbs: 53.9g

Sugars: 10.2g

Dietary Fiber: 1.9g

Sodium: 103.3mg

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