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Paskalya coregi.jpg
Paskalya çöreği (Easter çörek) and coloured eggs from Istanbul
Type Sweet bread
Variations Savoury versions
Cookbook: Tsoureki  Media: 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.

Armenian traditions[edit]

In Armenian tradition, a big batch of chureg ("chorek" in Eastern Armenian) is baked for Easter and is a tradition passed down through generations, though there is no citation of this tradition's origin.

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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390 news items

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 ...

Green Valley News

Green Valley News
Tue, 22 Sep 2015 00:04:45 -0700

Savory dishes are well balanced with traditional sweet Greek specialties including baklava, loukoumades, kourambiedes and tsoureki. Baklava is phyllo pastry layered with walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and topped with honey syrup. Loukoumades is a ...


Fri, 18 Sep 2015 18:11:56 -0700

At least 10 varieties of desserts were offered by the parish's St. Katherine's Ladies Philoptochos, or ladies society, such as kok, custard filled, chocolate-topped éclairs; galaktouboureko, custard with honey syrup; amigdalota, almond paste cookies ...

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

VRT Nieuws

VRT Nieuws
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 01:37:30 -0700

Tijdens het Offerfeest kregen we van onze Turkse vrienden "Vlees van de schaap", van een schaap dat in hun tuin geslacht werd, en onze Griekse vrienden gaven ons met Pasen "tsoureki", een Paasbrood... Die gemeenschap draag ik met me mee. Toen ik ...
Fri, 22 Mar 2013 23:31:07 -0700

A rich, brioche-like bread that is traditionally flavoured with bitter cherry pits (mahlepi) and mastic, the resin from a tree that grows on the Greek islands. Not the sort of thing that one picks up at the local supermarket, but don't be put off. A ...
The Advocate
Wed, 07 May 2014 15:44:09 -0700

Greeks traditionally serve tsoureki, a braided sweet bread, at Easter, but those attending the Baton Rouge Greek Festival Saturday won't have to wait until next year to try it. Tsourekia (that's the plural spelling), along with other pastries, will be ...
Neos Kosmos
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:37:30 -0700

Tsoureki. 14 Apr 2014. Ingredients: 8 cups all purpose flour (plus more for counter) 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed (not hot) 3 envelopes dry yeast 1 2/3 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks plus 3 tbsp) 1 2/3 cup sugar zest of one orange zest of one lemon

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