How to make Greek Easter bread

An Easter classic, tsoureki (also known as Greek Easter bread) is flavoured with citrus rind and sweet spices, plus it has a light and fluffy centre after baking. Follow our guide below to making, shaping and baking the dough.

1. Activate the yeast 

Bread needs yeast to rise and give it a soft, fluffy texture. Soaking the yeast in a mixture of lukewarm water and sugar kickstarts the activation process, which helps the dough aerate.

Activating yeastin a bowl being stirred with a fork

2. Melt the butter

Similar to brioche, this Easter bread contains butter for richness and to balance the sweet flavours. Melting the butter allows it to be incorporated evenly throughout the dough.

Butter being melted in a pan

3. Punch the dough down

The dough needs time to prove, which allows the yeast to rise and aerate. After proving, punch down the dough in the bowl to knock out any large air bubbles as these affect the texture of the bread.

Kneading the dough

4. Braid the dough

The dough is separated into 3 portions and braided before baking. Make sure you roll your portions into 40cm-long logs before braiding, otherwise your loaf will be too short.

Platting the dough

5. Brush with an egg wash

To give the bread a golden top, brush the dough with a mixture of egg yolk and milk. This browns up beautifully in the oven and also helps to accentuate the braiding detail.

Egg washing the bread

6. Add a traditional finish 

Tsoureki is traditionally topped with dyed eggs, but you can make it without them if you like. Nestle the eggs into the dough before baking, then remove and discard them before serving.

Placing dyed eggs on top of the bread