Easter Bread with Chocolate and Almonds

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Easter is the most important traditional feast in Greece. On Easter Sunday, the fires are lit early for the spit-roasting of the Easter lamb, which is often a community affair. After the long fast, all types of food can be eaten during the week after Easter, even on Wednesday and Friday. Special breads, pies, desserts, and dishes with young goat and lamb all form part of the festivities.
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cooking Time: 20 - 25 minutes
Recipe By: Vefa’s Kitchen, Phaidon Press
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • ServesMakes 2 Loaves

Ingredients

    • 4 cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons rapid-rise yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 tablespoons superfine sugar
    • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
    • 4 tablespoons lukewarm water
    • 5 tablespoons lukewarm milk
    • 2 eggs lightly beaten
    • 5 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for brushing
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Slivered almonds for sprinkling
  • For the filling:
    • 1 egg lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, roasted
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Sift together the flour, yeast, and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the sugar, orange zest, lukewarm water, lukewarm milk, and eggs and gradually incorporate the dry ingredients, kneading to a soft dough.

Gradually pour in the melted butter and gently knead into the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 -2 hours, until doubled in volume. Brush a cookie sheet with melted butter. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece into 12 x16-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle widthwise into 3 strips. Brush each strip with beaten egg and divide the roasted almonds and chocolate chips among them, sprinkling them evenly.

Roll into long ropes and pinch the edges to seal. Lay 3 ropes next to each other and braid them, pressing the ends to seal.

Lay 3 ropes next to each other and braid them, pressing the ends to seal. Repeat with the remaining 3 ropes. Put the braids on the prepared cookie sheet and cover with buttered plastic wrap.

Let rise for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a bowl, brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture, and sprinkle with the silvered almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes , until golden. Let cool and store covered.

Recipes From GourmetSleuth.com - The Gourmet Food And Cooking Resource