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Paskalya coregi.jpg
Paskalya çöreği (Easter çörek) and coloured eggs 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 may be eaten at any time of year, often for breakfast, but it is also associated with several holidays.

Tsoureki / Lampropsomo / Lamprokouloura: Easter Bread[edit]

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.

See also[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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459 news items


Wed, 20 May 2015 04:00:38 -0700

Its trademark offering is tsoureki (braided egg bread brioches) in a variety of sweet and salty ways including chestnut, lemon, orange, chocolate, walnut praline or Chios cream. Konstandinidis was founded in the Twenties by a Greek teacher from Asia ...

Greek Reporter

Greek Reporter
Fri, 15 May 2015 02:07:15 -0700

The house was decorated with colorful embroidered tablecloths, tulips, rabbits, chocolate covered tsoureki, red roosters, chocolate Easter cookies, chocolate eggs and a large red Easter egg. “We want you, Despina and Laurentino, to communicate with our ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:48:45 -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 ...

Austin Chronicle

Austin Chronicle
Fri, 08 May 2015 14:40:13 -0700

I'm also fond of the braided tsoureki bread, a buttery brioche-like loaf that is traditional Easter fare in Greece. The slightly sweet loaf is brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sliced almonds and an aromatic Middle Eastern spice called ...

Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:05:57 -0700

Horatiki Salata at Central Market. Central Market is doing a food and wine promotion highlighting Greece, and calling the two-week celebration Passport Greece, featuring specialty foods, prepared foods, breads, cheeses, desserts and wine of Greece.
Western Queens Gazette
Fri, 15 May 2015 10:48:45 -0700

The house was decorated with colorful embroidered tablecloths, tulips, rabbits, chocolate covered tsoureki, red roosters, chocolate Easter cookies, chocolate eggs and chocolate and a large red Easter egg. “We want you, Despina and Laurentino to ...

San Antonio Magazine

San Antonio Magazine
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:37:30 -0700

For the customer, that research has resulted in a lineup of truly authentic Greek products—from olive oils and Geodi jams to a Tzatziki spread with eggplant and Tsoureki bread—as well as a Greek wine list with more than 30 options. Thursday, April 30 ...


Tue, 12 May 2015 11:01:34 -0700

I also like some dishes of the Indian cuisine, like pilau rice and samosas, and Cornish and Greek pastries, such as tsoureki, trigona, bougatsa, etc. 8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie? The Beatles. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. But I'd ...

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