Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki) with Beet Jam

Tsoureki is a braided sweet bread easily recognized by the decorative red eggs between its braids. We dyed our eggs naturally with beet juice, then made use of the beet pulp in an accompanying beet jam. The result is an ultra sweet, perfectly festive Easter loaf.

Makes one large loaf

- Ingredients -

Beet Dyed Eggs
3 eggs (you can decorate your loaf with as many eggs as you like - you can fit up to 6 eggs into this amount of beet dye at a time)
3 fresh beets, sliced, stems and leaves removed
1 quart water
2 tablespoons white vinegar

6 cups bread flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon anise seed
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup milk
1 packet yeast (follow instructions on packet)
1 orange, zested and juiced
¼ cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg, whisked together, for wash
¼ cup sliced almonds, for sprinkling

Beet Jam
½ cup sugar
juice from ½ orange
1 cinnamon stick

- Tools -
Weston Cone Strainer
Weston Vacuum Sealer + Canister
Weston Kitchen Mixer
Weston Baking Mat

Hard Boil Eggs
Bring water to a boil, gently drop in the eggs, and allow to boil 8 minutes, or until hard boiled. Set aside and allow to cool.

Prepare the Beet Dye
In a large pot, bring the beets and water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil and allow to steep 30 minutes. Strain the liquid with your Cone Strainer, into the Vacuum Sealer Canister.*

Stir the vinegar into the beet juice. Gently drop in the hard boiled eggs, cover, and seal with a Vacuum Sealer. Set aside.

*You can soak the eggs overnight instead of vacuuming. Soaking the eggs overnight will achieve the same rich red. The vacuum helps speed up the dying process (1 hour vs. overnight).

Prepare the Bread Dough
Sift together the dry ingredients for the bread. Pour into your Kitchen Mixer. Pour in remaining ingredients and turn the handle to mix.

Once the dough is uniform, drop it onto your Baking Mat. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Separate into three equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a long strand. Twist together one end of the three strands, then braid them together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour.

Prepare the Beet Jam
While the dough rises, prepare the jam. Use the pestle to mash the beets in the Cone Strainer. Transfer the mashed beet into a sauce pan with a cinnamon stick and ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Bring back to a boil, then stir in the sugar. Once it returns to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Once the jam has set, pour in the orange juice. Remove from heat, transfer to a sterilized jar, and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can refrigerate the jam or can it (we served ours immediately with the bread, so there was no need for either).

Bake the Bread
Once dough has risen, brush the outside of the loaf with egg wash. Remove the colored eggs from their dye, pat dry, and slide them between the braids of the bread dough. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Serve, sliced and slathered with beet jam.

Sample Product Label
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