Saturday, 30 April 2016

DAY 46 - April 30, 2016 - Tonight's Activity: The Cracking of Easter Eggs - Το Τσούγκρισμα των Πασχαλινών Αυγών

In this picture, Husband and I are  cracking Easter eggs shortly after the 2015 Resurrection service.
 I can't remember who "won" but it looks like maybe he is denting my egg.
It is finally here!  After about 7 weeks of having no animal products (apart from fish (on March 25th and Palm Sunday), some shellfish, mollusks, squid or octopus), not much oil,  or any egg or dairy products, we are finally at the night to share an Agape Meal that includes Tsoureki (sweet bread), Eggs, Magaritsa (Lamb Soup), and one tradition that we wanted to explore a little more -- Tsougrisma (Egg Cracking).

We spend our time to make our eggs.  We boil them exactly for 8 minutes, make sure to rinse them after 10 more minutes so we don't get the overcooked dark green yolks.  We research and shop for the very best egg dye, making sure that it will produce that lovely, deep red colour that shines beautifully to represent the blood Jesus shed for us.   We also may add a little special decoration to our red eggs, such as crosses or mini icons.  We spend all this time to make beautiful eggs,… by why?  We are going to spend our night after church and our day tomorrow smashing up the beautifully coloured eggs and laughing about it in a game.  What is that about?

We wanted to show you a little bit about the game that our family plays,as do many; and if you don't already have your own version of it, then we are going to explain how it goes.  The game we are talking about is casually referred to as "Tsourgrisma " or  "Cracking".  With all the things the Greeks invented, nobody could invent a better name for this game.  It  is the game that represents Christ's resurrection and arising from the open tomb (the shell is the tomb, Christ is the egg).

For this game, you will need the following:

2 People, any age
2 Eggs, hard boiled, dyed red
1 Sense of Humor, as needed

There are very few rules with this game, although there are many within a family or a group.  This game is about "Last Man Standing".  So, two people hold their eggs in the same manner; meaning that both hold the pointed end upward and the more round end at the bottom.  Then, each person takes a turn hitting the other's egg one hit at a time.  Whoever has the broken egg Loses!  That's it.  The winner takes his/her egg and moves on to crack against the next person.

Tsougrisma becomes funny because there are often complaints like, "He hit too hard," "I wasn't ready," "He held his egg too close to the top," or, my favourite, "It was broken before we started."  There are a million excuses as to why the losing egg was the losing egg, and telling someone that they are lying -- then, you would be walking on eggshells.

There could be other rules that families include, such as the oldest person at the table picks the first egg.  Or, maybe each person is only allowed to use the egg he/she received upon leaving church (in place of antithoro).   You will find many people who touch every single egg and examine it so closely, as if they can see inside the red shell.  There are others who pick up whatever is closest and use that.  In our family, if you break it, you must eat it.  Oh, what a joy to be a loser!

Knowing that we are never losers in God's eyes, nor can we be losers in His care. Play and have fun.

Wishing everyone a Kalo Pascha! And, thank you for joining us this year. With all the challenges of time and family, we were able to let God's grace shine on us to survive the Great Fast. Hopefully, we have shared some useful recipes, dishes, methods, and information with you over the past 40 days. We pray that all have a loving and joyous Ressurrection tonight. Christ is Risen!

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world."

-Matthew 28:20

Source of video:

This moving video, showing the amazing drama of the "Anasta O Theos" ("Arise O Lord!") hymn that takes place every Holy Saturday morning service. In our Toronto church this morning, the entire parish was banging on the pews instead. We are amazed at the joy of every member of this Greek Orthodox community (although the video doesn't elaborate where, exactly, Raitho is, our research revealed that this is a Greek Orthodox Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Today, it is also mainly known as "El Tur").

Before leaving you today, may we share an excerpt from an interesting website about Easter customs in Cyprus:

"In the morning of Holy Saturday, the Resurrection Ceremony takes place. When the priest says out loud «Anasta o Theos», all the black clothes covering the icons fall to the floor and people strike hard on the church seats while at the same time the priest walks in the church throwing daphne leaves. All these symbolize the victory of life against death…"

Source of quote:

Friday, 29 April 2016

Day 45: April 29, 2015 - Simple Tasty Baked Macaroni with Tomatoes and Celery - Νόστιμα Ψητό Μακαρονάκια με Ντομάτα και Σέλινο

My mother used to make baked macaroni.  It was cheesy and tomato-y and served every other week while we were growing up. Now, if you say "baked macaroni", some people will think of the Kraft Dinner, and others will think of some sort of cheesy macaroni like at a traditional diner.  Well, today, we are going to make baked macaroni without cheese.  In fact, we are making baked macaroni without a lot of things -- there are only 5 ingredients in the recipe!  Although, if you don't count the water, it is really only four ingredients.  For a fast and easy way to make lunch or dinner, and one that is good reheated, too, this is a keeper!

For this recipe, you will need the following:

2 cups macaroni
2 cups water
2 cups tomatoes, peeled whole or crushed
2 stalks celery, chopped
A bit of oil, as needed

First, chop the celery into pieces.  You want pieces that get lost in the flavours of the tomato sauce, so they should be small.  We make sure to peel the celery to remove any strings, and that will make it easier to cut the small pieces.  Put the chopped celery in a baking dish.

Now, add the tomatoes.  We used canned San Marzano tomatoes.  This is a personal preference.  Some folks will use fresh, whole tomatoes that have been blanched, peeled, and cut.  Right now is not tomato season, so we opted for canned.  We left the tomatoes whole in the dish believing they will dissolve as they cook int he water.  It is probably better to chop them a little and make smaller pieces.  I liked the big chunks of tomato in the final dish, Husband preferred to pick those out of the macaroni.  Either way, the flavour of the tomato is outstanding.

Add one cup of the water and mix the celery, tomato, and water in  the baking dish.  Ad, pour a bit of oil on top so it floats and makes the whole dish look greasy.  Now, bake this.  Yes, put it in the oven at 425 F for 25 minutes.  Bake this until it is fully hot.  You will see the tomatoes are starting to cook.  But, at the 25 minute mark, take the dish out of the oven.  Mmmm, can you smell the tomatoes?

Pour the macaroni into the baking dish.  We chose to use elbow macaroni, but any short noodle will do.  Elbows have a way of making everyone happy, and are versatile for noodles.  Make sure that you keep to a small noodle, though, not the big or long ones.

Now, bake the macaroni for about 45 minutes at 425º F (about 220º C), or long enough for the water to evaporate and the macaroni to cook fully.  If you like your noodles more al dente, then you may want use a little less water, or bake a little less time.  You will want to try both to see what works for your specific oven.  We cooked for 45 minutes and the macaroni was soft without being gummy.  The end result was a rich, soft, and flavourful pasta dish with chunks of tomatoes and a little crispiness on top.  Enjoy!

A photo from tonight's Good Friday Epitafio (April 29, 2016) from our home church 
in Toronto, Canada.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Day 44: April 28, 2016 - Decorating Easter Eggs with Easter Egg Sleeves

It is this time of year that you can look around and tell who the Orthodox people are by the red stains on their fingers from the red dyes used to colour the eggs.  Other groups may choose different colours for their eggs, but ours are red.  Once in a while it is nice to add a little variety to our red eggs, and this year, we found a lovely way to do just that.

While walking through the grocery store, we saw on the rack all the envelopes of egg dye packets.  The store offered multiple colours, including red, blue, green, and yellow.  Right next to the colour packets was another set of packages that instantly caught our attention.  They were egg wrappers.  Not like egg roll wrappers, but decorative sleeves to put on the boiled eggs.  There were several themes of wrappers.  For us, it is important to keep Christ in Pascha, so we chose the religious themes.  We were so fascinated with the selection, and decided to try two packets to see how the eggs looked.  Each packet cost $1.49 (Canadian), which we thought was a worthwhile investment.

The egg wrapper packets that we bought were Biblical themed and Icons themed.  We thought those were the best choices for our needs.  Other themes included Children, Animals, Flowers, and Traditional.  They are a Ukranian company which claims, "As long as egg decorating continues, the world will exist." That was such a lovely thought that we wanted to be a part of keeping the world existence.

These were very easy to use.  First, you open the package and see the sheet of sleeves.  There is some work involved in cutting the strip of seven sleeves into the individual pieces.  You have to be really neat in your cutting skills, and for us, it was hard to identify the exact line where one started and the other stopped.  But, do the best you can with cutting.

Once the sleeves are cut and you have seven individual pictures, open each one to make a cylinder.  The cylinder is surprisingly spacious.   You put the egg into the middle of the sleeve (the opening).  The plastic sleeve looks too big for the egg, but the next step takes care of that.

Using a slotted spoon, dip each egg, one by one, into a pot of boiling water.  The egg should stay in the water for 5-10 seconds, or, long enough for the plastic to shrink and seal against the egg.  You don't want to leave the egg in the boiling water for too long, since it is already cooked inside -- you don't want to overcook the egg.

Remove the egg from the boiling water, and set it aside to dry for a moment.  Then, you are done.  We started this process with our red-dyed eggs, but the dye bled into the boiling water, and made the tips a light pink (as in the pictures).  That was okay this time, but we  believe that using a plain, white boiled egg would be more practical.  Also, we noticed that the red colour came through some of the pictures, which took away from the beauty of the sleeve.  The details of the pictures is impressive, and we were pleased with how the plastic stuck to the egg.

The Pysanka Egg Sleeve was extremely easy to use.  They offered a  lovely alternative to our traditional red eggs.  Now, we have to wait until Sunday to see if we can win the Cracking Game with one of these eggs!

Holy Thursday of Holy Week at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Campbell, OhioSource of video:

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Day 43: April 27, 2016 - Greek Cookies (Koulourakia) Made with Red Wine - Κουλουράκια Φτιαγμένα με Κρασί - (Originally posted on April 16, 2014)

(Another very popular post, over the past five years of this blog, is our entry on red wine-based koulourakia (or "Greek cookies"). This entry was originally posted on April 16, 2014).

When we think about koulourakia (Greek rolled cookie), it is not often that we think about wine.  However, with this recipe, we have both together.  These are made from a simple recipe for koulourakia that is vegan and part of the liquid is red wine.  It is the wine and the cinnamon that carry the flavour through these soft little bits of yummy.

Koulourakia with wine sounded rather odd when we first had them, but then, we thought about moustoukouloura, which are koulourakia made with the wine must or petimezi, a sweetener that Greeks have used since the Bronze ages.  So, this recipe does not use the must, it uses the actual wine. And, in the end, the heavy wine flavour is lost.  Instead, we had a lightly lingering hint of wine with a more pronounced taste of cinnamon.  We thought they may be better named as spice koulourakia, but it is not our recipe.  This recipe, in fact, came from one of our cookbooks, and we liked it enough to share it.  These are great for the weekends when wine and oil are permitted.  Or, they are good for other fasting times that are a little less strict than Great Lent.

We made only half a recipe, but are giving you the full amounts.  You can make adjustments as needed.

For this recipe, you will need the following:

8 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups red wine

The directions are rather straightforward, so we will show you more in pictures than in words.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients together.  Measure all the components into a bowl and mix them well.  This includes the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.  You will know they are mixed well when you no longer can differentiate between the individual ingredients and it all becomes consistent in colour.

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients -- the oil and the wine.  Okay, we know that oil and wine do not mix, but put them in the same bowl and mix to see the pretty patterns that the wine makes in the oil.

Then, pour the flour mixture into the oil mixture (add dry to wet) and mix until the dough is well blended.  Remember, when working with flour, you don't want to mix too long because you don't want to build the gluten too much.

Once the dough is combined, allow it to rest for 30 minutes.  Lay a towel or plastic wrap over the bowl to keep the moisture in the dough.  And, while the dough rests, you can too!

After 30 minutes have passed, it is time to roll the koulourakia.  These are a going to be a little thicker and larger than a typical, buttery koulouraki because they have more baking powder and leavening than the buttery version.  Shaping the koulourakia will be the same basic steps.

Divide the dough into small nuggets that are about even in size.  Roll each nugget into a log, about four inches in length (10 cm long).  Then, twist the log to make the shape that you want.  If you want to relate these to Easter, especially for children, you make one twist in the log and explain that you wanted to make the koulourakia the shape of a bunny head!

Lay the shaped koulourakia on a lined cookie sheet.  You will notice that we usually use a silicone baking sheet liner, but parchment paper would work just fine here.

Bake the koulourakia at 375º F (190º C) for about 15 minutes, until they are very lightly browned.  You should not see too much colour on these koulourakia because the pink hue of the wine and the brown tint of the cinnamon.  And, the longer that you bake these, the more dry they become.  We like our koulourakia to have a softer texture, so 15 minutes seemed like a perfect amount.  Ovens may vary.

Allow the koulourakia to cool on the cookie sheet.  You can serve these warm or room temperature.  Husband particularly enjoys these when they are warm. They will store in an airtight container for 1 month without affecting the flavour or the texture.  Enjoy them with friends and/or family because that is when any food is best!

ΙΔΟΥ Ο ΝΥΜΦΙΟΣ ΣΟΦΙΑ ΜΑΝΟΥ ΚΑΤΕΡΙΝΑ ΛΕΧΟΥ (Behold the Bridegroom comes sung in
Greek. Sophia Manou and Katerina Lehoux).

Source of video:

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Day 42: April 26, 2016 - Theia Betty's Fool-Proof Tsoureki Recipe, Easter Bread, Τσουρέκι, Sweet Bread (Originally posted on April 14, 2012)

(Today's entry, which was originally posted on April 14, 2012, is one of our five most popular blog entries over the past five years. Theia Betty is delighted that her recipe has been enjoyed by so many people throughout the world.)

Tsoureki is a bread that we enjoy for Pascha.  There are some families who make sweet bread and call it tsoureki (tsoo-reh-kee), but we are unclear whether or not these terms are interchangeable.   For our families, the word "Τσουρέκι" referred specifically to the bread we ate for Pascha, whereas a sweet bread is just ψομί (psoh- mee).   We recently learned that there is another term "lampropsomo" (λαμπρόψωμο; lum-broh-pso-moh) which refers to  two words put together, bright light and bread (lampro and psomo).  this refers to the bread for the bright light seen for Christ's resurrection.  

Today, we made our tsoureki for the season.  It took a while, but we did it!  In fact, we were so excited about getting the tsoureki done, that we almost forgot to take pictures for you!  But. don't worry, we did get a few pictures.

The recipe that we are using is from Theia Betty.  She is known for having the easiest recipe for this bread, in some circles.  She is not a fan of cooking or baking, but tells everyone that her recipe for tsoureki is fool-proof!  We knew that was true, because we have made this recipe for Pascha every year and for New Year's Vasilopita every year.  And, we give away many loaves along the way, which people love and comment about the lovely flavour.  So, that is what we are sharing with you today.  But, you have to give credit to Theia Betty, please.  It is her recipe.

Let's start with a few features of the bread.  First, there is that unique flavour.  That is mahlepi.  It is a flavouring that comes from the stone of a cherry tree that grows throughout the Mediterranean.  When combined with the butter, sugar, and milk in the tsoureki, the taste of the mahlepi just lingers in your mouth and takes you on a mini vacation through your taste buds.

Some people don't like the mahlepi flavour.  They choose other flavourings for their tsoureki, which is fine.  Some of the more common substitutes are anise (like Ouzo) or orange (using the zest, a little juice, or a flavouring).  We have also used almond flavouring, but then, you have to make sure to decorate the loaf with almonds.  If you do not have access to any of these, then a simple vanilla would work, too.  It is just a flavour to enhance the sweetness of the bread.

We should also make note about the look of the bread.  Each loaf is carefully braided, and may be circular or linear.  These are typically the only two shapes used for tsoureki.  The braid is with three strands, which differs from a similar bread called  Challah bread which is a six-strand braid. 

Our bread with the three-strand braid represents the HolyTrinity.  Then, in the middle of the loaf is the beautiful red egg.  That symbolizes the blood of Christ (see Day 54, Dying Eggs).   The bread can be sprinkled with sesame or almonds, and is generally baked to a dark brown colour.

So, can we make this for ourselves, or do we just fall into the easy way of going to a bakery to buy our bread?  We said before, and we'll say again -- this recipe is fool proof!   One time, we forgot to add most of the yeast because of a miscalculation when increasing the recipe.  We added the yeast toward the end of the mixing, without having dissolved it, and the loaves still turned out beautiful and delicious.  We got it right today, but that one time ...

Now, let's look at what you need to make this recipe.  To make 3-5 loaves, depending on size, you will need:

1 cup butter (or margarine)
1 3/4 cup sugar
5 packets of yeast (each packet is 0.25 oz or 1 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup milk
about 3 pounds flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm water
6 eggs
1 TBSP mahlepi (anise or orange flavours work, too)
You will also need:
sesame seeds,  or slivered/sliced almonds (optional) for garnishing
1 red dyed raw egg (do not cook the egg before colouring it)

The first step is to dissolve the yeast in the cup of lukewarm water.  The water should feel slightly warmer than your body temperature.  A lot of people use the method of "check it on your wrist" where it is most sensitive, but we are all different like that.  So, just above body temperature is a good level to know.  If the water is too hot, you will kill the yeast, and if it is too cold, the yeast stays asleep and won't work.  So, use lukewarm to tepid water.  Then, feed the yeast a teaspoon of sugar.

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.
Feed the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar.
 Add enough flour to the yeast/water mixture to make a thin batter.  It should be about the thickness of a pancake batter.  Then, cover this mixture and let it sit for about 30 minutes while you get the next few steps under way.

Add enough flour to make a batter consistency.
Notice that the yeast mixture "bubbles and doubles " -- it bubbles up and becomes foamy, and then the ixture had soubled and tripled in size while sitting aside.
Once you have the yeast mixed and sitting on the side, you should get the next steps ready.

Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together in the mixer.

Add the eggs, mahlepi, and the milk, and mix well.

When that is all combined, add about 2 cups of flour.  Mix on low speed so not to make a powdery mess.  You should have a mixture that looks almost creamy.

Then, you can add the yeast mixture to the bowl.

Once that is completely combined with the butter, egg, milk mixture, then, you have to start adding the flour a little at a time.  We want to add about one cup of flour at a time.  You cannot go faster than this because you have to see the point when the dough cleans the side of the mixing bowl without sticking to anything else.  That's when you will be done adding flour, and that is why you can't just dump it all at once.  So, little by little, here we go...  

OH!  And, change the attachment on the mixer to the dough hook now, too!  It will make this process easier for you.

When the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl as it turns, then you are done.  At this point, the dough should have gone around and around in the mixer for about ten minutes.  That is the kneading process.  Take the dough out of the mixer, remove the attachment and put the big ball on the counter or table top so you can work with it.  

Here is what you need to do.  You have to make the dough into a pretty ball shape.  It's a lot of dough, so it may take you a minute or two.  First, fold in all the sides and tuck them in to the center of the ball.  Now, repeat that same step -- turn in the new sides.  If you do this four or five times, then you will have kneaded the dough until you see it is rather smooth.  Then, turn the ball upside down, and this is what you should have:

A nice smooth ball of dough.

Take this ball of dough and put it in a big bowl that has been coated with a non-stick pan spray or a little oil.  This prevents the dough from drying out and sticking to the bowl as it sits for the next couple of hours to rise.  Also, you need to cover the bowl with a towel, some loose plastic wrap, something that allows room for the dough to grow, but stay covered.

After 2-5 hours of rising time (it depends how warm the room is -- the warmer the room the faster the time), turn the dough onto a working surface big enough for everything.  We used the dining room table.  You should see that the dough has doubled (at least) in size, and as you empty it on to the table,  you will see that the dough took the shape of the bowl it was in.  

Divide this dough into four pieces to make four loaves of tsoureki. If you want to make 6 loaves, then cut 6 pieces.  If you want 2 loaves, cut this dough in half.  We went with four loaves, so cut this into four pieces.

Now, cut each of those smaller pieces of dough into three sections.  These three sections will be the parts you make into the braid.  

Roll each little piece into long dough logs.  The logs have to be the same length, but do not necesarily have to be the same thickness.  If they are the same, that is better, but with a braided bread you can get away with different thicknesses in the pieces.  But, keep them the same length!

To make the braids, it is like braiding hair.  Although, some of you who are reading this may have no idea about that, some of you will understand.  But, for those of you who do not, here is the basic outline of how to make a braid:

Start by pinching the top ends together.  Pinch tight so they hold together.  Spread out the pieces so you can control where each one will go when you start the braid.

Take the first (right) piece and bring it over the centre, between the other two pieces, but not over the third (left) piece.   Go as close to the third piece as you can without crossing over it.   

Next, take the left piece and pull that one over the first piece that you just moved. (see above).  Go as close to that other piece as you can.  Then, pull the second piece over the third piece so that it ends up back in the middle again.  Then, repeat. 

Pull the strands of dough left and right as you go down the length of the braid.  This is what will give you a tight braid that holds its shape so well when rising and baking.  See how the strands go left and right?  Keep doing that until the bottom of the braid.

Continue this for the length of the bread logs until you reach the very bottom.  

When you reach the bottom of the braid, pinch the ends together, the same way that you pinched at the top.  Squeeze hard so it stays together.  Some people will actually tuck the pinched part under the braid so it gets hidden under the loaf.  You can do that, it looks pretty that way.

Then, if you want to make a circle, braid the bread like above, and instead of just laying it flat on the table, bring the bottom end around to connect to the top end.  

You can connect these by either trying to braid together the two ends, or you can pinch the two ends together so they stick together.  

Now that you have pretty braids, and you have the braiding mastered (it only take three loaves to master this), you have to know how to get them from here to the oven.  So , what's next?

Next, we are going to allow the dough to rise one more time.   Dust a little flour on the table, put the braided loaves on the flour, and then cover them with a clean, lint-free towel.  When we have made double the recipe, we have had to use an apron to cover the bread.

Let these loaves rise for about one hour.  You will see the dough become light, airy looking, and the loaves will become about 1 1/2 times the size of what they are now.  Just leave them alone and do something else in this hour and a half.

See how they have grown!  Now, get them on to a cookie sheet to bake.  We use parchment paper underneath, like we usually do  And, like we usually do, we reused the parchment paper that we used for the koulourakia (no sense in wasting good parchment paper!).  We line the pans with parchment paper because it makes the clean up so much easier!

Next, you want to brush each loaf with egg wash.  To make the egg wash, you mix one egg with 1/4 cup water or milk.  Milk makes the bread more brown, water makes the bread more crusty.  We chose milk for this batch.  So, take the egg wash and brush it all over the loaves, and don't forget the sides, too!  

Once the loaf is coated, sprinkle the sesame seeds all over the top. Of course, if you are using almonds or something else, sprinkle that instead.  But, cover the top evenly with the seeds. 

Then, put the egg in place.  There are different ways to do this, and some people choose not to include it at all.  We like the egg in the middle.  First, make sure that the egg is raw and coloured.  Yes, you can dye raw eggs...  So, we had dyed our eggs earlier, and they are all ready for the bread.  We washed the eggs prior to dying them, and then, let them air dry once they were coloured.  So, they are ready to go.  But, there are a couple of tricks that will help you to place the egg.  Although, you should know that getting it to stay there is a separate secret all together. 

To put the egg in place, you have a couple of options.  The first option is to just omit it.  For us, that is not an option.  If you leave out the egg, then all you have is bread.  With the red egg in the middle, then you clearly have Tsoureki.  

So, you can take the red egg and push it directly into the raised loaf of bread.  You don't want to place the egg before the dough rises, it will fall out.  After the loaves have risen (ha ha, just like Christ), then push the egg into the loaf.  

Choice number two is to take a pair of scissors and snip an opening in the loaf where you want the egg to sit.  Then, just like option #1, push the egg in place.  You can push kind of hard, but be careful not to break the egg -- it will ruin your tsoureki.

Lastly, if you have a round loaf, then you can just place the egg in the opening in the circle.  The bread does expand while baking and will sort of grow around the egg.  The difficulty with putting the egg is that people don't make time or want to make he time to colour the egg, make the bread, push the egg in place.  

Heat the oven to 350º F (about 175º C). Put the pan with the tsoureki (or tsourekia if you are baking several) and bake between 50 to 60 minutes until the tsoureki is golden brown. Pull out the tray out of the oven and let the tsoureki cool.

  1. Some people hate the discolouration around the egg after the tsoureki is baked.  We don't mind the spread of the red.  After it is all baked, smells lovely, and is wrapped in plastic, you kind of forget the colour is there.  And, the tsoureki all gets eaten, regardless of what colour the centre was! 

Then, because you have some extra loaves, and you want to share the easiest recipe for tsoureki that there is (Thank you, Theia Betty!),  you will want to wrap a few loaves to share.  We wrap ours in plastic wrap after the tsoureki has cooled and then put it in some tissue paper or a gift bag to give.  It won't matter how you wrap the loaves, it is the point of sharing that makes the tsoureki beautiful.  And, with this fool-proof recipe, you will want to share with everyone you know! Let us know when you want to deliver our loaf!