Tsoureki (Greek Easter Sweet Bread) Recipe

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Tsoureki (Greek Easter Sweet Bread)
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  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 (1/4 oz) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 8 -9 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp finely ground anise seed or 1 tbsp mahlepi
  • 1 tsp ground masticha (optional)
  • 2 -3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds


  1. Warm two cups of milk and place in a large bowl. Add the yeast, one cup of the flour, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cover and proof for one hour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine seven cups of flour, the ground almonds, salt, remaining sugar, orange rind, aniseed or mahlepi and masticha (if using). Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter and eggs. Work from the center outwards, bringing flour into the well, stirring the mixture until a dough begins to form.
  3. Dust a worksurface with a little of the remaining flour and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to your hands, about 12 minutes.
  4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about two hours. Punch down dough.
  5. Divide into six small balls and roll each into strips 12-15 inches long, and about 2 inches in diameter. Lay three strips side by side, pinching together at one end, and braid. Pinch together at the other end to hold the loaf intact.
  6. Optional: At this point you can press two red-dyed eggs between the strips of the braid or just leave the braided loaf plain.
  7. Repeat the procedure to make the second loaf.
  8. Place the breads on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered, and let rise for two hours, or until doubled in bulk. While the braids are rising, preheat oven to 360F (180°C), placing rack on lower shelf of oven.
  9. Beat together the egg yolk and remaining milk. Brush over tsoureki loaves and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
  10. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. I check my breads after about 15 minutes as they do tend to colour quickly and drape them with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove and cool on racks.
  11. *The special red dye used by Greeks to dye Easter eggs, as well as the spices Mahlepi (Mahleb) and Masticha can be found at all good ethnic grocery stores and in the Penzeys Catalague.
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Nutrition Facts

Per ServingPer 100 g
Amount Per 1 Serving
Calories 1254.67 Kcal (5253 kJ)
Calories from fat 324.21 Kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36.02g 55%
Cholesterol 185.78mg 62%
Sodium 504.48mg 21%
Potassium 773.96mg 16%
Total Carbs 195.26g 65%
Sugars 42.48g 170%
Dietary Fiber 10.6g 42%
Protein 43.48g 87%
Vitamin C 11.7mg 20%
Vitamin A 0.1mg 3%
Iron 10.2mg 57%
Calcium 265.7mg 27%
Amount Per 100 g
Calories 285.26 Kcal (1194 kJ)
Calories from fat 73.71 Kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.19g 55%
Cholesterol 42.24mg 62%
Sodium 114.7mg 21%
Potassium 175.97mg 16%
Total Carbs 44.39g 65%
Sugars 9.66g 170%
Dietary Fiber 2.41g 42%
Protein 9.89g 87%
Vitamin C 2.7mg 20%
Iron 2.3mg 57%
Calcium 60.4mg 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Find out how many calories should you eat.


  • salty
  • savory
  • bitter
  • sweet
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Recipe Tags

Weightwatchers Points

  • 27.3
  • 34

Good Points

  • saturated fat free,
  • low sodium

Bad Points

  • High in Sodium

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