6 slices tsoureki bread, 1 inch thick
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
ground cinnamon, to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons butter
Toppings: Greek honey, maple syrup, or confectioner's sugar and some fresh fruit
Combine the eggs and sugar in a 10 inch round deep dish pie plate. Whisk well to break up the eggs and combine.
Add milk, cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Whisk well.
Dip 3 slices of tsoureki into the custard. Pierce the slices with a fork so that the custard really soaks in.
Place a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet and place the soaked tsoureki slices in the pan.
Cook about 2 minutes on each side until golden.
Repeat the same steps with the remaining 3 pieces of tsoureki.
Serve with fresh fruit and topped with maple syrup or Greek honey.
Makes 2 loaves:
For the starter:
The egg wash: 2 egg yolks plus 2-4 tablespoons milk
optional fillings: dried cranberries, raisins, chopped nuts, candied fruit, ground cardamom, vanilla or almond extract
Note: This dough can be prepared in a table top mixer or kneaded by hand in a large bowl or on the countertop. Using a mixer will require less kneading time. About 10 minutes. If making the dough by hand, knead it at least 15 minutes so that the gluten forms well to achieve the desired consistency and texture.
Combine the starter ingredients together in the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Whisk and set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. It is ready when a puffy cloud forms above the mixture.
In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, orange zest, salt, mahlepi, and mastic gum together. Mix well to combine.
Once the yeast is activated, add all of the remaining ingredients to the mixer's bowl. Turn the mixer on low and knead for 8 minutes.
Add the softened butter and increase the speed to medium (4 on the Kitchen aid) and knead for 2 minutes.
Place some oil in the bottom of a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Toss around to coat and form a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume. About 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.
Quick Rise Tip: My favorite place to keep the dough so that it rises quickly is in the dryer. Here is what I do:
1) I put 3-4 clean bath towels in the dryer and turn it on (high heat setting) for about 5-6 minutes.
2) I place the bowl with the dough into the dryer (on top of the warm towels) and close the door.
3) Make sure the dryer is OFF!!
4) Remove from the dryer when it has doubled in volume.
This trick usually cuts 30 minutes from the rise time.
Punch down the dough to remove the air. Cut into 2 equal portions.
Cut each portion in thirds.
Roll each portion into about 13 inch long ropes.
Form the 3 ropes into a braid and do the same with the remaining three ropes to shape 2 loaves of brioche.
Place both braided loaves onto a baking tray (18 by 13 inch) lined with parchment paper.
Cover with plastic wrap or with a clean towel.
Set aside until doubled in volume. If using the dryer trick, it takes about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius.
Brush the tops of the brioche dough with the egg wash.
Optional: Place a hard boiled, dyed egg in the braids or top with sliced almonds.
Bake in the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
Once baked and cooled, the bread can be frozen up to a month. Just make sure to wrap it well with plastic wrap.
For the cheese sauce:
4 ounces feta
1/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 roasted red pepper, drained
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
10 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the herbed oil:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, grated
ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177 degrees Celsius.
Combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until pureed and smooth.
Cut the pita into about 8 wedges each.
To make the herbed oil, combine the olive oil, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove into the oil and mix well.
Brush each pita wedge with the oil and place on a baking tray.
Sprinkle salt over the pita wedges and bake about 10 minutes or until golden.
Set aside and allow to cool.
Arrange the pita chips onto an oven proof plate.
Dollop the cheese sauce over the chips.
Top with the halved tomatoes, then with the mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle the olives and sliced scallions on top.
Bake in the oven until cheese is completely melted.
This can also be done under a broiler for 60-90 seconds. The chips can quickly burn if you step away and stop monitoring them.
If using the broiler setting, make sure that the oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Placing the chips directly under the flame will cause them to burn.
Makes enough buttercream to fill and frost an 8 inch three layer cake or 24 cupcakes
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Begin by making the pastry cream. It will be a major ingredient in the vanilla buttercream that will create a very creamy, rich, buttercream, much like French buttercream. The pastry cream can be made up to 2 days in advance.
In a saucepan, bring milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
In the meantime, combine the sugar, corn starch, cream and egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk together for a few minutes until thick and pale yellow.
Slowly, pour the hot milk in the egg mixture one ladle full at a time while whisking.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Whisk well.
Place the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For a quick cool, fill a large mixing bowl with ice and place the bowl with the pastry cream over the ice. Mix with a spatula every 5 minutes. The pastry cream should be ready to use in 15 minutes.
If the pastry cream was made a few days ahead and is very cold, either microwave it at 10 second intervals until it reaches room temperature, or place it in a warm water bath. This can be done by placing the bowl with the pastry cream in a larger bowl filled with warm water.
It is crucial that the pastry cream and the butter at the same temperature in order for the buttercream to be ultra smooth.
Also, when the pastry cream is made ahead of time and is refrigerated it will thicken and seem hard. Beat it in a tabletop mixer until smooth or by hand. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth.
Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar in the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add the pastry cream to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches. Beat until, thick, creamy, and very smooth. About 3-5 minutes.
This basic recipe can be used to make so many different flavor variations:
Chocolate hazelnut buttercream: add 1/2 cup or more of your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread to the buttercream and beat to incorporate.
Almond buttercream: Substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract for the vanilla extract
Coffee buttercream: dilute 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules to 1-2 tablespoons water and add to buttercream. Beat to incorporate
Fruit flavored buttercream: Add 1/2 cup or more of your favorite fruit jam to the buttercream and beat well to incorporate
Chocolate buttercream: Add 12 ounces melted chocolate to the buttercream and beat well to incorporate
The options are endless but, one thin is for sure. We have been using this delicious recipe at our bakery for the past 10 years and everyone loves it. It is velvety smooth, creamy, and delicious.
2 sheets puff pastry
10 ounces baby spinach, chopped
3/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 scallions, finely sliced
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 204 degrees Celsius.
Begin by preparing the spinach filling. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, feta, ricotta cheese, dill, salt, pepper, and scallions. Mix well until the spinach is completely coated with the cheeses and all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Mix in the egg and set the spinach mixture aside.
Roll out each puff pastry sheet large enough so that an 11 inch circle can be cut out of the center. I like to use either a large bowl or a dinner plate.
Save the scraps for another recipe. They stay fresh in the freezer for 2 weeks if wrapped tightly with plastic.
Place one circle on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the puff pastry. These will absorb any excess liquid that is released during baking.
Place 2 scoops of the spinach filling in the center of the circle.
Create a ring with the remaining spinach filling leaving about 1/2 inch border all around the puff pastry.
Do not allow the ring to connect with the filling in the center.
Place the other puff pastry circle on top and seal the edges by pressing down with the tines of a fork.
Place a small bowl (around 5- 6 inches in diameter) over the center filling and press down to create an indentation. Leave the bowl there.
Cut 4 slits all around the pastry. If looking at it as a clock, one slit would be at the 12:00 position, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00.
Cut 4-5 more slits in each quadrant.
Remove the bowl. Pierce the center with the tines of a fork a few times so that the steam releases during baking.
Twist each outer section (the slices) so that the filling side faces up. Take care to not separate the slices from the center.
Brush the pastry with egg wash.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over center and bake 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden all around.
Serve with tzaztiki sauce.
Hi, I'm Dimitra and welcome to my blog! Here, I'll teach you just how much fun and easy it is to please a crowd with my versions of Greek classics. Kali Orexi as we say in Greek!