- 500 gm (2 2/3 cups) plain flour
- 21 gm (3 packets) dried yeast
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus extra for brushing
- 50 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of 2 oranges
- 2 tsp mahlepi (see note)
- 75 gm softened butter, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 3 eggs Greek red egg dye (see note)
- 1Combine flour, yeast and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, form a well in the centre, set aside. Add milk, eggs, sugar, orange rind, mahlepi and 100ml lukewarm water and mix until a soft dough forms (5-7 minutes). Gradually add butter, a little at a time, mixing until a smooth soft dough forms (3-5 minutes), place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (40 minutes-1 hour).
- 2Meanwhile, for red Easter eggs, follow instructions on packet to cook and dye eggs then set aside to cool completely.
- 3Knock back dough and divide into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a 45cm-long cylinder, plait pieces together, then bring ends together to form a wreath and squeeze to join. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and set aside to prove slightly (20 minutes).
- 4Preheat oven to 180C. Brush wreath with eggwash, gently push red Easter eggs (unpeeled) into wreath and bake until wreath is golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes). Cool on a wire rack, serve with butter. Greek Easter bread is best eaten the day it's made.
Note Mahlepi is available from Greek delicatessens. You can substitute a flavouring such as mastic or cardamom. Red egg dye is available (usually around Easter time) from Greek and Italian delicatessens. Instructions and the quantity required vary from brand to brand.