2t dried yeast
1t caster sugar
1/2c plain flour
1T zest orange
1/2t aniseed or mahlepi and masticha mix for a more authentic taste
1/3c caster sugar
3c plain flour
2 egg yolks
- Place one cup of milk in a bowl, sprinkle in two teaspoons (7 grams) of dried yeast and one teaspoon caster sugar and whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Stir in half a cup of sifted flour, cover and stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the mixture has doubled.
- Stir in 150 grams melted butter, two lightly beaten eggs, the finely grated zest of one orange, two teaspoons of aniseed (or two teaspoons mahlepi and half a teaspoon of masticha), half a teaspoon of salt and a further one-third cup of caster sugar, then gradually stir in a further three cups sifted plain flour to form a dough.
- Gently knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (about one-and-a-half hours).
- Turn out and knead for one to two minutes.
- Cut the dough into three even pieces and roll each piece into a 40 centimetre long cylinder, plait the lengths together, then shape into a wreath, pinching the ends to join.
- Place on a lined baking tray.
- Press three red eggs firmly into the wreath. Don't add these eggs if you're making this outside of Easter.
- Stand in a warm place until well risen (about 45 minutes).
- Brush the bread with a combined egg yolk and two tablespoons milk, then bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 180C (160C fan-forced) and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.