Tsoureki (Greekstyle Sweet Brioche Bread)
Whisk together sugar, flour, yeast and milk. Cover and set aside to activate 10min
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Grind the mastic with the salt until it’s very fine
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Whisk together the mastic, salt, mahlepi and cardamom
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Whisk the spices and orange zest into the flour
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Add the flour to the activated yeast
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Along with the sugar, eggs, vanilla & milk
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Mix with dough hooks on a standing mixer/hand mixer or mix and then knead by hand
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Until the dough is smooth, elastic & pulls away from the side of the bowl 8-10min - then add butter
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Very elastic at this point
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Scoop out into a greased bowl
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Cover, place in a warm spot & allow to rise & double in size 1 1/2-2 hrs
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Grease hands and transfer dough to a clean surface
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Roll into the length of a baguette fold over and repeat 5-8 times (helps develop those layers)
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Cut in half (keep lightly greasing your hands if dough gets sticky to work with )
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Cut each half into thirds
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Shape each into a log and then roll out from the middle to make strands
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Arrange the three strands side by side - pinch them together on the top and spread the strands out
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And start braiding - not too tight - then pinch ends and tuck under
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Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest - set aside in a warm place to rise
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Brush with egg yolk
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Sprinkle with sliced almonds or sesame seeds & then bake
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Allow to cool for 30 min before slicing
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Recipe makes 2 loaves - 2nd one can easily be frozen or saved to make French toast
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https://www.oliveandmango.com/tsoureki-greekstyle-sweet-brioche-bread-sweet-mahlab-bread/
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