Let’s be straight. There’s a ton of different types of bread. Too many that we tend to lump them all into one category. In my mind, though, there is bread, and then there’s bread. Special bread, the kind that make you silently gasp, “Oh. My. Goodness!” This is one of those. Rich, buttery, without being over the top. The crust is sprinkled with coarse sugar and sesame seeds for an unexpected first bite. The braids are pretty fun to make as well, once you get the hang of it. Forget sandwich bread and make these special occasion babies. Trust me.

Grecian Sweet Braid (Choreki)
makes 4 loaves

5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour
2 packages yeast
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup dry nonfat milk
1 tsp ground aniseed
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 TB to sprinkle
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temp
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 TB milk
4 TB sesame seeds
sugar to sprinkle

In a mixer bowl measure 3 cups flour and add the yeast. Stir to blend. In a saucepan over low heat, add the water, dry milk, aniseed, butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Mix and heat until butter is soft, about 110 degrees or warm to the touch. Stir well and pour slowly into the dry ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes and then add the eggs. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough cleans the bowl. Knead 10 minutes with the dough hook.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and divide into 4 pieces. Cover with cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes. To shape, divide each of the dough portions into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into long ropes and braid then. Pinch the ends together. Repeat for the remaining dough portions.

Place the loaves on a baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Let rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350F about 20 minutes before baking. Before loaves go into the oven, brush the egg glaze over the braids. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, then the 2 TB sugar.

Bake in the oven until well browned, about 15-20 minutes.Remove the bread and place on wire rack to cool. Enjoy!



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Christi

User Responses

8 Responses and Counting...

  • Michelle

    01.05.2011

    How beautiful. I keep working on making bread, but the rise always gives me problems. Thanks for inspiring me to keep trying.

  • Such beautiful bread loaves! Good job!

  • I love a good sandwich loaf but it’s beauties like these that really make carbs worth eating. Delicious!

  • A.k.a. Challah :)

    very yummy.

    If you have problems with rising, it always helps me to let it rise by something warm (e.g. next to the pre-heating oven) and covering it on the top.

    The more you knead, the fluffier! ;)

  • well tried the recipe….didn’t have any of the ground ainseed or dry milk powder,, so replaced with cinnamon and whole milk. I omitted the sugar on the top and found that while i had half decent product ( I dont bake bread), next time I will a) use more salt, b) try and follow the recipe more closely. Decent result nonetheless.

    Thanks for the most interesting recipe.

    Grazor

  • Hi Grazor,
    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, some bread recipes do not respond well to being halved or doubled, which is why most bread recipes recommend making the full quantity and freezing the leftovers. The aniseed will give a slight but distinct licorice aroma to the bread which is part of its charm as Grecian bread. Also, substituting dry milk for whole milk probably altered the recipe chemistry.

    It is a soft, rich, moist bread, so I encourage you to try try again :)

  • These look soo beautiful and I bet they taste as good as they look. Thanks for sharing!

  • The light and fluffy cornbread is just that. Lovely recipe. Thanks for the warning re a runny batter. Checking your site now for more recipes!!

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