- 500 g tsoureki or brioche flour
- 150 g honey
- 150 g water
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 100+50 g butter, the 50 g should be chilled and cut into small cubes
- 2 eggs
- grated orange zest
- 15 g active dry yeast
- 10 g mahlab
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 packets vanilla powder
- 1 ½ g mastic
- pinch of salt
- 100 g dark chocolate couverture, chopped into 0.5 x 0.5 cubes
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Photo credit: G. Drakopoulos - Food Styling: T. Webb
- In a mixers bowl, combine the water, yeast and 2 tablespoons of flour with a spoon. Cover gently with the remaining flour.
- Set aside and allow it to rise for about ½ an hour. It will be ready when the yeast is activated and bubbles will rise and break out of the flour.
- Beat the sugar, mahlab and mastic in a small blender, until they are finely ground. You can also do this with a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the honey, 100 g butter, orange zest, vanilla and ground sugar and spice mixture in a pan, over very low heat. Heat only until it warms through and the butter melts, do not over heat.
- Remove pan from heat and add the eggs into the lukewarm mixture. Beat with a hand whisk until completely combined.
- Add to the mixer. Beat until a dough forms and it starts to pull back from the sides of the bowl.
- Add the 50 g chilled butter cut into cubes, while the mixer is beating.
- As soon as the last piece of butter has been absorbed, remove dough from mixer. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a towel and set aside to rise for about 1-2 hours. (Do not set aside in a very warm place.)
- When ready, shape the dough into two braids. Insert the pieces of chocolate in the dough and set aside to cool for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 180* C (350* F) Fan.
- Brush braids with some egg white and bake for 20-30 minutes.