Spring means Easter for many. Rich, sweet breads high in butter content and eggs are one of the traditional foods served at this time, especially in Europe. This month’s Bread Bakers theme are Easter/Springtime Breads. I discovered this Armenian bread flavored with vanilla and mahleb. Mahleb is a spice made from cherries used often in Near Eastern and Middle Eastern countries. I had purchased mine about a year ago to make a Cypress bread recipe in my We Knead to Bake group, but never got around to making the bread. I would finally get around to using my mahleb.
I wrote down all the ingredients and went to my kitchen to put the dough together. However, I wrote down the ingredients while I was speaking on the pho
ne so I was a little distracted and ended up forgetting to include the butter. When I returned from my kitchen to the computer, I realized this but the bread had such a smooth, soft and elastic texture, I didn’t want to mess with it. So I figured I would let it be and leave it to chance.
So this is my adapted version of Choereg without the 1 cup of butter from the original recipe.
Yield: 3 loaves
- 1 cup warm milk (110-120 F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mahleb
- 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
Add sugar to warm milk and mix to combine. Sprinkle yeast on top and wait until it has proofed and is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
Add proofed yeast, mahleb and flour.
Knead for about 10 minutes, until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
Place in a greased bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave until doubled in size, about 5 hours.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with non stick spray.
Divide dough into 3 balls of dough.
Take one ball of dough and divide into 3 pieces.
Roll each piece into a long rope and form the 3 ropes into a braid, tucking in the edges. Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough.
Place on prepared cookie sheets. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Brush loaves with egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
I had an Armenian style breakfast as I served it with preserves, plain yogurt and Mannouri ( a fresh Greek cheese). The bread was surprisingly soft and light, despite the lack of butter. However, I did notice it began to dry out after just two days, but when I toasted it that became a moot point. Besides, if you plan on serving this with your next holiday meal, it will be gobbled up so soon, you won’t need to worry about the dryness 2 days later….as I guarantee no leftovers will remain!
With this method, you can indulge in this low fat version…with less guilt attached!
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Here’s our International Easter/Passover/Spring Bread Basket…
- Bacci Bread by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Casatiello by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) by Cook’s Hideout
- Cornish Saffron Easter Bread by Pastry Chef Online
- Folar (Portuguese Easter Bread) by Passion Kneaded
- Hot Cross Buns by En la Cocina de Caro
- Hornazo De Salamanca – Spanish Easter Bread by Ruchik Randhap
- Hungarian Egg Twist by Hostess at Heart
- Hungarian White Bread by Magnolia Days
- Individual Braided Easter Bread by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Italian Easter Bread by La Cocina de Aisha
- Lambropsomo – Greek Easter Bread by Spice Roots
- Lithuanian Easter Raisin Bread by My Catholic Kitchen
- Matzo by A Shaggy Dough Story
- Mennonite Paska by Food Lust People Love
- Pääsiäisleipä – Finnish Easter Bread by Bakers and Best
- Pane di Pasqua – Italian Easter Bread Wreath by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Polish Bobka Easter Bread by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Russian Kulich by That’s My Home
- Springtime Sweet Bread by Cooking club
- Strawberry Fritters by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread) by Simply Veggies
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