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Tsoureki
Paskalya coregi.jpg
Armenian chorek from Istanbul
Type Sweet bread
Variations Savoury versions
Cookbook:Tsoureki  Tsoureki

Tsoureki (Greek: τσουρέκι), also known as شوريك (Arabic), panarët (Arbërisht), choreg or "chorek" (Armenian չորեկ), çörək (Azerbaijani), kozunak (Bulgarian козунак), cozonac (Romanian) or çörek (Turkish)), is a sweet, egg-enriched bread, rooted in the cuisines of Western and Central Asia.[1] It is formed of braided strands of dough. There are also savoury versions.

Such rich brioche-like breads are also traditional in many other countries, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic. Examples of similar breads from other cultures are badnji kruh in Croatian cuisine, folar de páscoa in Portuguese cuisine, Brioche in French, kulich in Russian cuisine, panettone in Italian cuisine and challah in Jewish cuisine.

Greek traditions[edit]

Rich brioche-like breads (often braided) are known by various Greek names that represent three major holidays for Greeks: Easter, Christmas and New Year's. There are many local varieties of these festive breads, based on milk, flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, butter, and a flavoring which can be mahlab, Chian mastic or cardamom. The butter is added after kneading: the dough is stretched, brushed with melted butter, folded and stretched again repeatedly, until all the butter is incorporated. The result of this technique is that the baked bread separates easily into strands. A good tsoureki should be soft, moist and fluffy, yet stringy and chewy.

Tsoureki / Lampropsomo / Lamprokouloura: Easter Bread[edit]

The word tsoureki refers not only to the Easter batches, but to the traditionally sweet bread that's made under most circumstances.

The Greek word lampropsomo (λαμπρόψωμο) is derived from one Greek word for Easter, Λαμπρή, which means "bright light," and ψωμί, which means bread; referring to the light Christians believe is given to them by Christ's resurrection. Another name for the bread is lamprokouloura (Λαμπροκουλούρα): κουλούρα means "round" and, therefore, various forms of cookies and round breads. This braided bread can be shaped either into a circle or into two large braids and sprinkled with nuts, usually slivered, blanched almonds. It is served with red Easter eggs that have been dyed to represent the blood of Christ or red rosebuds[citation needed].

This bread was traditionally prepared with an essence drawn from the seeds of Mediterranean wild cherries, called makhlepi, (Greek: μαχλέπι). The bread can also be flavoured with mastic, the resin from Pistacia lentiscus, var. chia. In more recent years, vanilla-scented tsoureki has also become popular. If going for the full aromatic effect, a fourfold melange of aromatics is used: makhlepi, Chios mastic, cardamom, and vanilla.

Sometime tsoureki is used as a gift for special occasion, for instance, it can be given as an Easter gift from children to their godparents.

Christopsomo: Christmas Bread[edit]

Christopsomo (Χριστόψωμο), which translates as "Christ's bread", is a Greek bread decorated with an early form of the Christian cross with ends that split and curl into circles. Sometimes dough shapes representing initials, birth dates, ages and aspects of the family's life and profession are added. Christopomo is a rich, round loaf scented with wine soaked figs, anise and orange. It sometimes contains such ingredients as nuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mastic, a dried pine resin. The bread is sometimes served with honey on Christmas Eve. Families leave pieces of bread on the table believing that Christ will come and eat them during the night.

The preparation of Christopsomo is considered a sacred tradition in Greek Orthodox homes, and the care with which it is made is said to ensure the well-being of the home in the year to come. In earlier times, Greek cooks baked large quantities of bread to last for ten to fifteen days, so baking just one or two loaves of Christopsomo the night before Christmas had special significance. The cook would begin by crossing him/herself before starting baking.

Tsourekaki: Easter Cookie[edit]

Tsourekaki (Τσουρεκάκι): A variant which consists of biscuits in the shape of the original tsoureki. It is common to add orange flavour.

Vasilopita: New Year's Bread[edit]

Main article: Vasilopita

The traditional New Year's Cake, Vasilopita (Βασιλόπιτα) is sometimes a tsoureki.

Armenian traditions[edit]

In Armenian tradition, a big batch of choreg is baked for Easter, with one of the choregs containing a coin for good luck to whomever gets it.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Толковìй словарь живаго великорусскаго язîка, Dal' V.I., IAS, 1869

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsoureki — Please support Wikipedia.
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TRADITIONAL GREEK EASTER BREAD (TSOUREKI PASCHALINO) - STAVROS KITCHEN - GREEK CUISINE

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Tsoureki Recipe (Greek Easter Bread) in The Bread Kitchen

This tsoureki recipe will give you the delicious soft bread associated with Greek Easter celebrations. Written recipe at http://www.thebreadkitchen.com/recipes/tsoureki-recipe-greek-easter-bread.

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Today I'm making a traditional Greek Recipe - Tsoureki! This is a sweet brioche bread that is typically braided. It smells amazing and tastes even better! Happy Easter :) Subscribe for more...

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Moms and Yiayias Tsoureki.

TΣΟΥΡΕΚΙΑ ΑΡΓΥΡΩ ΜΠΑΡΜΠΑΡΙΓΟΥ

MrsSintages.blogspot.com.

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766 news items

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:53:24 -0700

An easy recipe for "tsoureki": sweet bread with olive oil, so much taste and full of flavor, so light and above all... healthy! Soft, fluffy, with a beautiful brown semi-soft crust and an amazing stringy texture... Greek Easter bread (tsoureki) is ...

Neos Kosmos

Neos Kosmos
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 03:07:30 -0700

Vegan Easter tsoureki. 11 Apr 2015. Penny Zalalas. Ingredients: 14 grams of dry yeast 240 grams of coconut milk, lukewarm 240 grams of freshly squeezed orange juice 120 grams vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon mastic, grated 800 grams all purpose flour

Good Food

Good Food
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:13:58 -0700

While other teens take a break, 16-year-old Lola Laliotis is spending her Easter school holidays working flat-out, helping make the Greek sweet bread, tsoureki, at her father's bakery. But it's where she wants to be. Greek Easter Sunday this year is ...

OregonLive.com

OregonLive.com
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:02:51 -0700

Tsoureki (Greek Easter Braid) (above): Usually you'll see tsoureki with a few dyed red eggs baked right into the loaf. They represent the blood of Christ and are for decoration only. These loaves are so handsome they're still celebratory without the ...

Shreveport Times

Shreveport Times
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:45:00 -0700

Eggs that are dyed red traditionally adorn the tsoureki. But the bread can be ordered with or without the egg. "The egg represents the steel tomb containing Christ," Mijalis explained. "The red dye signifies the color of the blood that he sacrificed ...

The Pappas Post

The Pappas Post
Sat, 04 Apr 2015 16:37:11 -0700

Here are three family recipes I will be using this Easter: first one is a slow-roasted leg of lamb…the Greek way. Then I have a recipe for naturally dying your eggs and finally my family's Tsoureki recipe, one that needs patience but easy to follow ...

Times Record News

Times Record News
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 03:52:30 -0700

Times Record News file Kourambiethes, koulouria, paximadia and Easter sweet bread tsoureki (clockwise from left) are some of the treats that will beckon from Saturday's Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church Easter Bake Sale. The red eggs alongside the ...

Shreveport Times

Shreveport Times
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 13:15:00 -0700

Also, red eggs adorn the loaves of tsoureki bread baked by volunteers with the Ladies Philoptochos Society of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Shreveport. The women bake the traditional loaves of bread each year for the Greek Easter bread sale.
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