Easy "Cheats" Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread) Recipe

By Melpomeni Matthews
"Who doesn’t love to eat the magical Tsoureki? So soft. So airy. So buttery. But not so easy to make...
I encourage everyone to try this recipe. It’s a modification from giagia's traditional method, which has a few extra steps that are very time consuming. However, modified with your sanity in mind this dough result is spectacular. This recipe makes a small batch. Yielding 2 large tsourekia, 3 medium or 4 small gift sized tsourekia. Traditionally made on Holy Thursday for Greek Easter!"
Melpomeni Matthews, Melbourne.


• ~ 4 cups plain bread flour
• 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
• 3/4 cup caster sugar
• 2 teaspoons mahlepi spice
• 1 teaspoon mastic gum ground (optional)
• 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
• 40g butter
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil, + 2 tbsp for kneading
• 300ml milk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten (room temp)
• 1 tablespoon fresh orange rind
• Egg wash
• Flaked almonds or sesame (optional)


1. Hold 1/2 cup flour to the side, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt butter and 2 tbsp oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and orange rind. Heat until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and beaten eggs to flour mixture. Using your hands form a very soft and sticky dough, use 1/2 cup remaining flour as necessary.
2. Using the remaining oil wet your hands and knead the dough for 10 min in the bowl, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 - 2hrs, or until doubled in size, an air bubble in your dough is a sign it’s proofed long enough.
3. Line baking trays with baking paper. Divide the dough into desired portions and form into traditional tsoureki plaits. Set aside in a warm place for 30-40min, or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 170˚C fan-force.
4. Brush with egg wash and top with flaked almonds. Bake for approx 20min, or until cooked through and golden in colour.
Serve with the most delicious orange and chocolate marmalade! A combination that you'll remember for ever!
Baking Tip:
For perfect rising every time. Warm your oven till it’s warm to your hands touch, not hot* and place your covered dough inside for proofing ( cover using plastic wrap or place the bowl/trays into clean plastic bags and tie them up to create a warm air bag).
Greek tsoureki Easter bread recipe.

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