Armenian Easter Bread (Choreg)
|Active dry yeast||2 Tablespoon|
|Warm water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (105 F To 115 F)|
|Butter||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Sugar||1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)|
|Warm milk||1 Cup (16 tbs) (105 F To 115 F)|
|Olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Black caraway seeds||2 Teaspoon|
|Ground mahleb||1 Tablespoon|
|Ground mastica||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Flour||6 1⁄2 Cup (104 tbs)|
|Baking powder||1 Teaspoon|
|Egg yolk||1 (Beaten With 1 Tablespoon Cream)|
In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.
Stir in the one teaspoon sugar and set aside for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl beat the butter with the sugar until creamy.
Add the eggs and beat well.
Blend in the milk, olive oil, yeast mixture, caraway seeds, if used, salt, mahleb and mastica, stirring well.
Sift the flour with the baking powder, make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg mixture.
Stir to mix, then knead with your hands for about ten to fifteen minutes until a smooth, satiny dough is formed.
Place in a greased bowl.
Cover and place in a warm area for six to seven hours or until doubled in bulk.
Punch the dough down and divide into four balls.
Divide each ball into three portions.
Roll each portion into a long rope.
Braid the three pieces and pinch the ends together and tuck underneath.
Arrange the choreg on ungreased baking sheets three to four inches apart.
Glaze tops with the beaten egg and cream.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, or press the colored eggs into the tops, if used.
Let rise again in warm place for about thirty to forty minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes, or until golden brown.
Choreg freezes very well.
You can reheat while still frozen at 350 degrees until warm and soft.