Tsoureki

The traditional Greek Easter bread.

Credits: EAT GREEK TONIGHT

Ingredients
Quantity Ingredient Alternative Notes
2 Teaspoon Cinnamon    
5 Whole Egg   Or egg substitute 
10 Cup Flour    
1 Tablespoon Mahlepi Powder    
1 Cup Milk    
1 Pinch Salt   To taste 
2 Cup Sugar   May substitute with honey 
1/2 lb Sweet Butter    
1/2 Cup Water   Warm water 
2 Package Yeast   Active dry yeast 
Directions
In a small saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
Pour it into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, butter, mahlepi, and salt.
Let cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to lukewarm milk.
Beat 4 eggs and add to the milk mixture.
Gradually stir in flour with a wooden spoon until the batter becomes too thick to stir.
Coat your hands with flour and work in the rest of the flour by hands until a soft, elastic dough forms.
Cover with waxed paper and a thick towel and let stand in a warm place free of drafts for 2 to 3 hours or until the dough doubles in bulk.
Punch down dough and knead again.
Divide the dough into 12 balls about the size of oranges.
Roll each ball on a board into a rope 1.5"x 2" thick and 15"-20" long.
Braid three ropes together to make a "twist." Pinch ends and tuck under.
Place on greased baking sheets and let rise until twists are doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the twists with the remaining egg (well-beaten) and bake until tops are a deep chestnut color, about 30 minutes.
Check after 15 minutes, and if the color is darkening too quickly, reduce heat to 275 degrees and continue to bake for 1/2 hour.
Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and then invert on racks to finish cooling.
Store in covered containers or wrap and keep in the freezer.