Tsouréki-Chocolate filled Greek Easter bread (gluten free)
"Fluffy, buttery, fragrant and filled with chocolate, this Greek Easter sweet bread, will steal your heart!"Serves 4-6 | Prep Time 2 hours | Cook Time 40-45 minutes
2 teaspoons instant (bread machine) yeast
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1¾ teaspoons warm water, at 75°F/23.8°C
3 cups (400 grams) gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
juice and zest from half an orange
3 eggs and 1 yolk
1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
3.5 ounces (100 grams – 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon ground masticha
1 teaspoon machlepi powder(or mahlab, found in Middle Eastern stores)
1 egg for the egg wash
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the warm water, and set in a warm place for 10 minutes. The mixture will be foaming and bubbly.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, orange juice and zest, mahlab powder, masticha, yolk, honey, butter, and proofed yeast mixture.
Add the egg mixture to the flour in a steady stream with the mixer running on low. Increase the speed to medium and mix the dough for 10 minutes. It will be very silky, almost like a cake batter.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour, the dough should about double in size.
Using a rubber spatula, deflate the dough, turning it over a few times in the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, recover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. Fill up half way of the pan, add the chocolate chips and the top it with the rest of the dough.Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar or some salt if you like. Set the pan somewhere warm for 40 minutes. You want the dough to rise and spread – but it will not double, so don’t let it sit for longer waiting for that.
When you have about 10 minutes left of rising time, heat up your oven to 350°F. Bake your rolls for 40-45 minutes. You want the top to be golden and a toothpick to come out clean when it is inserted into the middle.
Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Pairs Well With
Perfect with a glass of milk,or a cup of coffee!
This recipe is something I grew up with and it has a special place in my heart! Tsoureki is a traditional Greek Easter sweet bread, it has the same texture as brioche. Tsoureki is close to challah, the only difference is the addition of spices, such as masticha and mahlab (ground kernels of cherry stones) unknown to most Americans and Europeans, but makes it so unique and different!
I remember my mom making tsoureki, my brother and I trying to help her, waiting for hours anticipated, until we get this buttery, fluffy and fragrant sweet bread.