Turkish Easter Bread
1 package dry yeast, active, 7 gr
3 tbsp warm milk
1 tsp sugar
4 cup + 1 tbsp flour, all purpose
1/2 tsp salt
125 gr (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp mastic, roll glass on the mastic to make it powdery (or use mortar)
1 tsp mahlep
5 egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup milk, warm
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbsp almond or hazelnuts, sliced
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 3 tbsp warm milk. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add the butter, mastic, mahlep and the bubbly yeast mixture in the flour. Whisk the egg yolk, milk and sugar, and pour into the flour. Mix and place the dough on the lightly (1 tbsp) floured counter. Knead well for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth (no more crumbles). Then spread 1 tsp of olive oil inside a clean bowl. Place the dough in it and spread another tsp of olive oil with your hands all over the dough. Then cover it with a clean, damp towel. Put aside for about 7-8 hours at room temperature until the dough rises to double its size.
Place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Press all over with your hands to get rid of any air bubbles. Give a rectangular prism shape to dough. Cut the dough in four long sticks like a fork, without separating one end (picture). "Braid" the four pieces as seen in the (picture) and connect the other end. Brush egg yolk and sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Leave for about 40 minutes to rise at a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake for about 50 minutes until the top is golden. You can find Paskalya Çöreği at every Patisserie in Türkiye. You can have this very tasty pastry with your afternoon tea or coffee:)
2 Turkish Easter Bread