A savoury take on traditional Easter bread, this version studded with Kalamata olives and Feta cheese bakes up fluffy, light and perfect for sharing with everyone at your holiday table.
INGREDIENTS 16 SERVINGS
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliter) and 2 tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoon (22 milliliter) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (250 milliliter) milk
- 1/3 cup (75 milliliter) butter
- 4 eggs
- 4 1/2 cups (1.125 liter) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliter) Sea Salt Grinder
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliter) Oregano Leaves
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliter) grated lemon zest
- 1 cup (250 milliliter) chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup (250 milliliter) crumbled feta cheese
- 6 soft-boiled eggs, dyed red
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliter) milk
- 1 Dissolve 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar in 1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water; sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- 2 Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat milk, remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) sugar and butter over medium-low heat just until butter is melted. Let cool until lukewarm (105° to 115ºF/40° to 45°C). Whisk in eggs and yeast mixture.
- 3 In large bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, combine 4 cups (1 L) flour, salt, oregano and lemon zest. Pour in milk mixture and yeast mixture; mix for about 10 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the remaining flour, 1/4 cup (60 mL) at a time, until soft dough forms (dough should be smooth and come away from side of bowl).
- 4 On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed, 2 tbsp (30 mL) at a time. Gently knead in olives and feta cheese. Place in large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
- 5 Punch down dough and divide into thirds. Roll each portion of dough into long rope. Pinch ends of the three ropes together; braid to form one braided loaf, about 16 inches (40 cm) long. Pinch ends together. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until doubled in size.
- 6 Glaze: Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Press soft-boiled dyed eggs into braid. Whisk egg yolk with milk; brush over dough. Bake in centre of oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before serving.
- 7 Tip: To dye eggs, add a few drops of red food colouring and vinegar to a bowl of water. Submerge soft-boiled eggs until desired colour is reached.