The traditional sweet bread (“tsoureki”) with machlepi (mahlab) and mastic flavour is just perfect.. but you can always add hanzelnut praline filling!
1100 grams white hard flour
80 g Fresh cooking yeast
240 g milk full of lukewarm (30-35 degrees)
380 g sugar
1 ½ spoon of salt
8 g mastic beaten
10 g mahlepi beaten
4 large eggs
240 g butter melted lukewarm
500 g hazelnut praline cream for filling
1 egg yolk whipped slightly with 20 ml of milk
Prepare the barm: pour in a large bowl of yeast, after first breaking it into small pieces.
Add 2 spoonful of sugar, 2 spoonful from flour and 200 ml of lukewarm milk. Stir well, dissolving yeast in milk.
Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave the yeast in a warm place for about half an hour.
The yeast should be inflated and doubled in volume.
Then put in the mixer bin, flour, sugar, salt, mastic and mahlepi. Stir with a spatula. We make a hole in the middle and add the eggs, the remaining tepid milk, half a butter and the infused barm.
Put the hook on the mixer and start working at low speed for the first 2 minutes.
We slowly pour the remaining butter and then we raise the speed slightly – from low to moderate – for about another 8 minutes or until our dough is smooth and elastic and peels away from the bin.
Then, dip melted butter and transfer the dough. Cover the pan with a clean towel and leave it in a warm place for about 3 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.
Put the dough on a clean working surface. Knead in hand for about 5 minutes. We divide into 2 straight pieces and then each of them into 3 cords.
Place them on different sheet-metal plates, join the 3 cords at one end and make a braid, but not too tight to have enough space to inflate.
Fold the edges inward. Do the same with the other three cords.
Cover with towels. Leave in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hour until it is inflated. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 ° C in the air. Pick the sweet bread with the yolk and sprinkle with the almond slivers.
Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes. Leave the sweet breads on the grill until they are completely cold. Just before serving them, cut them in half and fill them with the praline.