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Turkish çörek
Variations Savoury versions

Tsoureki (Greek τσουρέκι; also çörek (Turkish), شوريك (Arabic), panarët (Arbërisht), choreg (Armenian չորեկ), çörək (Azerbaijani), kozunak (Bulgarian козунак) or cozonac (Romanian)) 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.

The word probably comes from the Turkic çevrek 'round'.[2]

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, colomba 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; it is derived from the Turkish name.

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]

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]


  1. ^ Толковìй словарь живаго великорусскаго язîка, Dal' V.I., IAS, 1869
  2. ^ Sözlerin soyağacı : çağdaş Türkçenin etimolojik sözlüğü [Word origins: etymological dictionary of contemporary Turkish], Sevan Nişanyan, Istanbul 2002

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsoureki — Please support Wikipedia.
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3347 videos foundNext > 

My mom's tsoureki ♥ the most tender of all

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Σε μια κατσαρόλα ζεσταίνουμε τα βούτυρα, το γάλα, τη ζάχαρη, το μαχλέπι και τη μαστίχα. Προσοχή μη καεί και...

Flora Soft - Tsoureki recipe

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Τσουρέκι με 6 κορδόνια

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Make the best tsoureki (greek easter bread) or Vasilopita (New Years day Bread) EVER!!!

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259 news items

Neos Kosmos
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:58:03 -0700

Make Us your homepage. Tsoureki. Tsoureki is the traditional bread of Greek Easter. Tsoureki is a rich yeast bread flavoured with orange and a delightful spice called mahlepi. Node Tools. Comments: (0). Rate This. 4. 1 vote. Select rating, Cancel ...
Lodi News-Sentinel (blog)
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:46:04 -0700

While organizing my notes for this month's blog, I came across one of many online recipes for Tsoureki ('tsoo-REH-kee'), a traditional Greek Easter bread with one or more red-dyed eggs-which symbolize the blood of Christ-imbedded in the dough before ...

News & Observer

News & Observer
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:03:45 -0700

Sarayiotes, who in the past has baked tsoureki for sale at her church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, says some people use mastic, which has a resinous licorice-like flavor, instead. But not her. “We're not mastic people,” she says. “I ...
Libertyville Review
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Tsoureki — This is the traditional sweet bread we make and absolutely love. Easter in Greece. Easter in Greece is incredible. While Santorini is a pretty huge island, the people in each individual town come together to make it seem like everyone is ...

Greek Reporter

Greek Reporter
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:41:15 -0700

Every family received a large package with dry foods, lamb, cheese, olives, butter, bread, Greek Easter bread (tsoureki), two bottles of orange beverage and two bottles of wine. The Easter distribution took place in the Meropeion Elderly Home in Athens ...
It's Relevant: New Canaan
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:37:30 -0700

This year's greek style easter bread called Tsoureki, is made with ingredients that give it a kick of flavor. "We actually have a bit of unique spices that give it a nice flavor, we have orange zest in here, we have our fresh flour, we have cardamon ...
Yahoo News
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:12:32 -0700

There are other Greek traditions, such as red-painted eggs and the voluptuous bread, tsoureki, but this year, with Greek Orthodox Easter falling on Sunday, the 20th, if you live in a Greek enclave, expect backyards to be full of the scent of lamb roasting.

Neos Kosmos

Neos Kosmos
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:56:15 -0700

Red eggs are also used to decorate Easter Tsoureki and 'avgoules' or large Koulorakia. Dyeing red eggs is a wonderful tradition to start with your family, and a great way to get the children involved. Have them help by decorating their own eggs with ...

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