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  Added: Jul 26, 2007  •  Visited (433)  •  Print version Print this recipe (9)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
Christmas Bread
This is the traditional bread baked for the Christmas holiday in various parts of Greece.

What You Need:
  • 3 packages (3 tablespoons) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1% teaspoons salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1¼ cups milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon ground masticha flavoring (see note) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • ½ cup white raisins
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

  • How To Cook:
    1. Combine yeast, warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Let stand in a warm place until mixture bubbles and foams, about 10 minutes.

    2. In a large bowl, beat together 4 eggs, 1½ cups sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, cooled milk, and yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of flour and masticha or vanilla extract. Add melted butter, almonds, raisins, and lemon peel.

    3. Continue to add flour and knead well about 5 minutes, or until dough is quite stiff but elastic. Place in greased bowl.

    4. Cover first with plastic wrap and then with a damp towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down and turn over in bowl.

    5. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes more. Shape dough into 6 ropes and braid 3 at a time. Place braids on a lightly greased cookie sheet and let rise for 40 minutes.

    6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    7. Beat remaining egg and brush each braid with it. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

        1 cup mixed candied fruit can be added with the almonds.
        Masticha is a flavoring made from the sap of the mastichodendro bush, which grows only on the island of Chios.
    To Make: 2 large braids
    This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Europe » Greece
    Main Ingredient » Grains & Cereals » Flour
    Main Ingredient » Nuts » Almond
    Main Ingredient » Berry » Grape & Raisin
    Dish » Bread
    Season / Occasion » Christmas


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