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Olive Oil Sweet Bread

Olive Oil Sweet Bread

Method

                                                                                                                      Photo credit: G. Drakopoulos - Food Styling: T. Webb

Mahlep sweet breads (Tsoureki) or these types of sweet breads are found all over Europe and the Middle East. Most of them were first made created in the Middle East by people of Jewish descent and are closely related to their religion.

You will notice that it doesn’t contains butter and milk like most of the sweet bread recipes, since it is a traditional Sephardic Jewish recipe and they are not allowed to consume any dairy products. The dough may not turn out to be as “stringy” as the regular sweet bread dough.

  • Combine the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar with the water in a bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to froth.
  • Add the oil and start to mix with a hand whisk.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting for each egg to be completely incorporated before adding the next.
  • Add the zest, cardamom, sugar and salt and mix well.
  • Add the flour in batches and mix until completely combined.
  • Turn the dough out on to a generously floured working surface and start to knead with your hands.
  • The point is to fold the dough over and over, pulling and turning it to activate the proteins in the flour which make the gluten develop.
  • Since we are using olive oil and all-purpose flour, the dough will not be as “stringy” as we might want but it is certainly soft and much healthier.
  • Knead until the dough becomes nice and elastic. One way to check if it’s ready is to push on the dough with your finger. If it doesn’t spring back, then it has been kneaded correctly.
  • Transfer dough to a bowl lightly brushed with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least an hour, until it doubles in size.
  • When ready, turn out the dough and press down on it to release the air. Set aside again for ½ an hour so it can rise again.
  • Now you can add the raisins. Knead for 1-2 minutes to distribute.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Shape them into long strips and make 2 braids.
  • Brush 2 sheets of parchment paper with olive oil. Place each braid onto a sheet of the parchment and transfer to baking pan.
  • Preheat oven to 190* C (374* F) Fan.
  • Brush the dough with some lightly beaten egg yolk and set aside again for 1 hour, so they can rise.
  • Brush with some more egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or almond slivers before baking.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden.
  • When ready, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Tip

The dough has to be kneaded very well by hand to give it the texture it needs.

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Nutritional
Chart

Nutrition information per 100 gr.

285
Calories (kcal)
14 %

Calories

Shows how much energy food releases to our bodies. Daily caloric intake depends mainly on the person’s weight, sex and physical activity level. An average individual needs about 2000 kcal / day.

8.6
Total Fat (g)
12 %

Fatty Acids

Are essential to give energy to the body while helping to maintain the body temperature. They are divided into saturated "bad" fats and unsaturated "good" fats.

1.5
Saturated Fat (g)
8 %

Saturated Fats

Known as "bad" fats are mainly found in animal foods. It is important to check and control on a daily basis the amount you consume.

44.0
Total Carbs (g)
17 %

Carbohydrates

The main source of energy for the body. Great sources are the bread, cereals and pasta. Use complex carbohydrates as they make you feel satiated while they have higher nutritional value.

6.1
Sugars (g)
7 %

Sugars

Try to consume sugars from raw foods and limit processed sugar. It is important to check the labels of the products you buy so you can calculate how much you consume daily.

7.1
Protein (g)
14 %

Protein

It is necessary for the muscle growth and helps the cells to function well. You can find it in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, pulses, nuts and seeds.

2.2
Fibre (g)
9 %

Fibers

They are mainly found in plant foods and they can help regulate a good bowel movement while maintaining a balanced weight. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber daily.

0.56
Sodium (g)
9 %

Salt

A small amount of salt daily is necessary for the body. Be careful though not to overdo it and not to exceed 6 grams of salt daily

*Based on an adult’s daily reference intake of 2000 kcal.

*To calculate nutritional table data, we use software by Nutritics logo 917a1b6ba55874b5d139866e10c236ccff8cbaa226cb4c05ba54efca0b20cc63

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