A Schroeder family tradition that I finally took a stab at! – beautiful bread and very easy dough to work with…my only update was to use my electric mixer as much as possible – enjoy!
Dorial’s Greek Easter Bread – makes one large braided loaf
Using your electric mixer, cream together;
1/4 c. room temperature butter AND 1/3 c. sugar
To this creamed mix, pour in;
1/2 c. hot (not boiling) milk AND 1/4 c. water
1 t. aniseed AND 1/4 t. cinnamon
Mix well and then leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Beat in 2 eggs – then combine 1/2 c. flour with 8 grams (1 package) Traditional Active Dry yeast, add in the yeast and flour combo and mix well.
Switch out the paddle to a dough hook and add in;
2 c. flour – though you may need up to 2 1/2 cups
Allow the dough hook to mix everything thoroughly and then as the dough comes together, allow the mixer to knead it for a few minutes. The dough should be tacky but not too sticky, but you’ll need to make the call as to how much flour is required. I used just under 2 1/2 cups, so almost a total of 3 full cups for one loaf.
Remove the dough from the mixer and drop it into a lightly greased bowl, cover with some plastic wrap and leave it to rise until it’s doubled in size – I left mine for almost 2 hours.
Once it’s risen, cut the dough into 3 even pieces (no need to punch it down), and using a large piece of parchment on your counter, roll, pull and stretch each piece of dough into an even-sized rope. Pinch the 3 ropes together at one end, braid the bread, and tuck the ends under to make the loaf as perfectly presentable as possible.
I found this dough super easy to work with, but work quickly and try not to handle it too much. Once it’s pieced together or braided, there’s no turning back, it will stay in place!
Arrange the loaf on a piece of parchment (I just used the one I braided the loaf on) and place it on a large baking sheet. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for another hour or so – it should look visibly larger.
Preheat the oven to 350, whisk an egg in a small bowl and brush the entire loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds if desired and bake for 20-25 minutes. Brock happened to be home so the internal temperature was also checked and it should be 200 degrees. Allow the bread to cool completely before wrapping and freezing but warm it up in a low oven before serving and have a lot of butter on hand!