My good friends are Greek and we were invited to their house to celebrate Orthodox Easter. I wanted to bring something traditional with us and one of the first things to pop up was Tsoureki Bread. My friend and I both try to be as gluten and dairy free as possible, so I adjusted the ingredients as needed. The inspiration for my recipe came from a website called Ful-Filled.
- 1 package instant yeast (about 2 ¼ tsp. Gluten free)
- ½ cup coconut milk (Don’t use the liquid. Use the solid part of the can)
- 1 tsp cane sugar
- 25 grams of gluten free flour (about 1/4 cup)
- ½ cup water
- 3 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (I used Bobs Red Mill Paleo Flour)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar (not 100% necessary if you don’t have it)
- ¼ tsp mahlep (I didn’t have this- I skipped it)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 TBSP white hulled sesame seeds
- 1 Large egg with 1 Tbsp water.
- 2 hard-boiled dyed red Eggs
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp cacao powder
- ½ cup confectioners sugar (I used cane sugar and ground it up)
- 1-2 Tbsp plant based milk (I used almond)
Activate yeast to make sure it’s good. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in ½ cup coconut milk. Mix in yeast and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside. It should foam and be frothy in about 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the roux: Whisk together the flour & water in a small saucepan – cook over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened (it is ready when the whisk leaves a visible trail as it moves through the roux).
Remove from the heat & allow to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
For the dough: place the 3 ½ cups of the gluten free flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cane sugar and salt into a stand mixer and use a handheld whisk to combine.
Once your yeast is activated, mix in the honey, eggs and vanilla.
Add wet ingredients and the roux to the flour mixture in the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on low speed with the dough hook until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet.
Slowly add in one tablespoon of coconut oil at a time, allowing each one to mix completely into the dough before adding the next one.
Once the dough is completely mixed together it’ll be quite sticky but relatively smooth and stretchy. If it’s too sticky, add in another tablespoon or two of paleo flour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl big enough to allow the dough to rise to double is size. Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm area for 2 hours. You can heat your oven to 100 degrees F and turn it off. Then place the dough in there.
Once the dough is doubled in volume, transfer to lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 17-inch ropes. You get 3 ropes. Join the ropes at one end and do a 3-strand braid. I braided mine onto parchment paper.
Transfer dough with the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
Brush the top of the dough carefully but liberally with the egg wash. Cover the braided bread with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free location for 40 minutes.
Brush the loaf again with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and allow to continue to rise uncovered until nearly doubled in size (about another 20 minutes).
Place the bread in the center of a cold oven and turn the heat to 350° F. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven temperature to 325° F and bake until the internal temperature of the bread is 185° F on an instant-read thermometer, about another 15 minutes.
Red Egg Optional: Bake it in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, open the oven and place the red dyed eggs in the center and rotate the pan and bake for another 10 minutes or until it gets golden brown in color or register 185°F inside.
Prepare chocolate glaze:
- Place coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Over low heat whisk all chocolate glaze ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour glaze into a small plastic bag and cut off a very small tip of one corner.
- Drizzle chocolate glaze over bread.
Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing, toasting & serving.