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Sweet Easter Breads -- Tsourekia


 3   packages ( or 2ozs. of fresh yeast)  Yeast
1/2 cup (warm)  Water
 1   cup  Milk
10-11 cups  Flour
 7   cups  Eggs
1 1/2 cups  Sugar
 1   cup (melted)  Butter
(grated) or 1 tablespoon powdered anise seeds  Lemon rind

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 cups of flour. Stir batter, cover and set in a warm place for about 1 hour.

Beat 6 eggs, sugar and lemon rind over hot water. Stir mixture into batter. Add remaining flour. Put dough on gloured pastry board and knead, adding the butter, until smooth and elastic. Place in a large buttered bowl and brush surface lightly with melted butter. Cover with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled its size-about 2 hours.

Shape dough into long ropes 3/4 to 1 inch diameter and cut into 12 inch lengths. Braid together loosely 3 ropes on a greased baking sheet. Let it rise, covered, until doubled-about 1 hour. Brush with beaten egg and bake in moderate oven 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: You may also press into the braids one or more dyed eggs. In addition, you may also sprinkle the breads with sesame seeds and/or shredded almonds.

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