Preparation time: 20 minutes
Rising time: 15 minutes + 6 + 2 hours
Baking time: 35 minutes
Traditional Armenian Easter bread
A popular Middle Eastern spice that is reminiscent of a mixture of bitter almond and cherry.
For a real treat, we recommend warming the tcheurek for 10 minutes in the oven before serving. Slice it thickly at the table, slather with honey or raspberry jam and serve with a strong cup of Earl Grey tea.
It's best with lots of guests and some music: Doudouk for nostalgia, and Gypsy songs for gaiety.
- Prepare the starter by combining the three ingredients and letting sit for 15 minutes.
- Melt the butter over low heat.
- Make the dough: beat the eggs until pale and thick, in this order, add the sugar, melted butter, milk, cream, salt, mahleb, orange peel, flour and starter.
- Knead well until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour if necessary.
- Cover with a cloth and let rise for 6 hours (the dough should double in volume).
- Divide the dough into 6-8 balls as desired and roll each into a sausage shape. Braid three together to form a loaf, glaze with the two beaten egg yolks, sprinkle with sesame seeds or almonds, place on a baking sheet and let rise for 2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 160-180° C (325-350° F) and bake for approximately 35 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a knife into the tcheurek: it should come out clean and dry.
Collaboration: Petrossian. If you'd like to enjoy tcheurek without baking, you can obtain one at the Petrossian shop during the Easter season.
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