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Vasilopeta (Greek New Year's Bread)

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“This is the only bread I will make by hand, NOT using my beloved bread machine. Everyone loves this bread, especially our old Labrador Retriever who, years ago, stole a loaf off of the Thanksgiving table and left the turkey alone! (prep time includes rising times)”
READY IN:
5hrs 20mins
YIELD:
2 loaves
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, add milk and salt.
  2. Stir in 3 C flour, batter will be lumpy.
  3. Let rise in a warm place about 90 minutes till double in volume.
  4. Mix in sugar, eggs, yolks, butter and lemon peel.
  5. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (7-8C).
  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5- 10 minutes till smooth and elastic.
  7. Shape into a ball and place in large greased bowl,turning to bring greased side up.
  8. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 60-70 minutes.
  9. Punch down dough and knead 1-2 minutes; let rest 10 minutes.
  10. Grease 2 bread pans.
  11. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces.
  12. Cut one piece into 3 equal pieces and roll each into a 15 inch cylinder.
  13. Braid the 3 cylinders, pinching the ends to seal.
  14. Tuck ends under and place in prepared pan.
  15. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
  16. Cover loaves and let rise till double in volume, about45 minutes.
  17. Heat oven to 350, brush top of loaves with beaten egg, and bake 45- 50 minutes till bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  18. If bread seems to be getting too brown after 20 minutes or so, cover them loosely with foil.
  19. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks 5 minutes.
  20. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely.

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