Rating: 5 stars
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My Yia Yia made this Greek Easter bread for many years, so this is very dear to my heart. It is slightly sweet and has a soft, golden brown crust. Leftovers can be used for toast the next day. Christos Anesti!

Recipe Summary

25 mins
4 hrs 30 mins
5 hrs 40 mins
45 mins
2 loaves


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pour yeast into a small bowl; add warm water and 1/4 cup of flour. Stir, cover with two damp kitchen towels, and leave in a warm place until bubbly, about 2 1/2 hours.

  • Combine butter, shortening, and mastic in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

  • Stir milk and sugar together in another saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Remove from heat.

  • Pour 2 cups flour into the butter mixture and stir well. Add salt, then stir in the yeast mixture. Add 2 more cups of flour and stir well. Stir in 3 beaten eggs. Slowly add the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour and stir well. Add the room-temperature water and the last cup of flour and stir until the dough is not sticky.

  • Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 20 minutes with lightly floured hands. Form dough into a ball. Cover with damp towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two baking sheets.

  • Divide dough into two pieces and separate each piece into three strands. Braid each of the 3 strands together to form 2 braided loaves. Place on the baking sheets. Nestle the red-dyed eggs between the strands. Brush the dough with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with almonds and sesame seeds.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

293 calories; protein 7.1g; carbohydrates 41.7g; fat 10.9g; cholesterol 67.1mg; sodium 115.8mg. Full Nutrition