Monday, April 5, 2021

T Stands for Baking

 Hi everyone. Happy Tuesday.

For T this week (don't forget to stop by Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog  with your drink related posts), I thought I would share a little of this and that. 

Last week was a mostly quiet week. We had some rain and some wind, and even when it was nice out the low tides at the beach weren't very convenient to walk.

I did a bit of baking instead.

I made an asparagus and cheddar cheese quiche, as you can see in the photo. I also made a pulled pork pizza, but no photo of that.

Finally I decided to try one of those braided Easter breads with the colored eggs included. I know it was not Greek Easter this past weekend, nor am I Greek, but the King Arthur Flour Sunday newsletter included this loaf of Greek Tsoureki bread, and I was not only curious about trying an Easter egg loaf, but I also wanted to try out this spice mahlep or mahleb. I also saw it under the name Mahalepi too. It is made from ground cherry seeds, not the whole seeds but the inner kernel. 

I ordered some  of this spice from Amazon, and it came in time for Easter weekend baking.

The dough also contained crushed anise seeds and orange zest and smelled wonderful.

Here's my plaited bread just before the second rise.

After my second rise.

The recipe called for 2- 2 1/2 hour second rise, I stopped after an hour because I still had some good definition to my plaiting and quite a bit of volume.

Most of my plaiting disappeared during the bake. I was a a little disappointed as I am trying to get a more distinct plaited loaf. I guess this just gives me more reasons to try another loaf.  Smile.

The recipe also mentioned (in an afterward) using uncolored eggs and switching them to the colored ones after the bake. I don't really mind the little bit of red that spread into the dough, but if you didn't want that, you could switch out eggs after baking.

Here is the recipe I used: King Arthur-Greek Tsoureki.

I was also curious about the red eggs since here our eggs are often pastel colors for spring.  The red stands for the blood of Christ. I found this nice little write up about them online. 

Red eggs (kokkina avga) are a traditional part of the Greek Easter Sunday celebration. They are lovingly made, either with onion skins or dye and then woven and baked into a tsoureki (three-braided Easter bread signifying the Holy Trinity), used as table decorations, and are the key piece to a fun game called tsougrisma, which tests the eggs' strength—and perhaps the players' strategy.  You can read more if you are interested here: Red Eggs

I made the red for my eggs with a bit of vinegar, water and a couple of drops of deep red food coloring, concentrated not the type you get in  4 pack at the grocery store. For that you would probably need more red. I would like to try the onion skins sometime though.

So how about a slice of bread with some tea? Or coffee?

I will definitely make this bread again, leaving out the   hard boiled eggs when Easter is over.  It tasted delicious.

Thanks for visiting. And have a great T day.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I would gladly eat that quiche. In fact, I would probably eat the entire pie in one setting, it looks so good. I'd have trouble with portion control, I fear.

As for your Greek Tsoureki bread, I read with fascination, then went to the King Arthur web site to read about the Greek Tsoureki bread. It sounds wonderful, because I love anise. Your bread turned out great, even if it did lose some of the braid (plaiting). I wanted to add I have several of those Wilton gel colorings and they are truly concentrated. Well worth the extra cost.

Thank you for sharing your Greek Tsoureki bread with us, along with your lovely cup of tea, which is perfect in your abstract designed mug for T this almost Tuesday, dear Erika.

Barbara said...

This looks so good, enjoy an extra slice for me!

Mae Travels said...

Your baking sounds quite ambitious. I'm curious about the effect of being baked on the texture of the eggs. Or do you still eat the whites and yolks after they are baked with the bread?

be safe. ... mae at

Linda Kunsman said...

ha ha- I'll plead with Elizabeth to split that quiche with me:):):)Yum!!
I admire your patience especially with bread baking, and yours always looks so good... yet...I'm back for the quiche-lol. Happy T day!

Kate Yetter said...

Loved seeing your bakes this week, Erika. That bread is very pretty. I have never had it but I have heard it tastes delicious. Anise sounds like an interesting ingredient.
The quiche sounds great as well. Sadly, I can't get my family to eat it but I bet it is yummy with the cheese and asparagus.
I am going to have to check out that King Arthur newsletter. I bet it is a good source of inspiration.
Happy Tea Day,

kathyinozarks said...

Oh wow if my husband saw your quiche he would ask me to bake one-I have not made one in years and we both do like it allot.
your Easter bread is beautiful and I enjoyed learning about it thanks for sharing with us

Sharon Madson said...

We both took photos of braided bread! Only, your photos are better! Happy T Day!

Iris Flavia said...

Hmmm. That quiche looks yum! Pulled pork pizza - are you crazy?! I´m on my way!
The bread looks great, too.

Yep. Ingo tried to color eggs and missed the vinegar, duhhhh... Came out in a girly pink!
Happy T-Day to you!

Lisca said...

That quiche looks delicious. I am making a quiche on Thursday (To take to a 'bring and share' lunch) and you have inspired me to make an asparagus quiche.
Your tsoureki bread looks fab. I enjoyed reading about it and will go to the site and read some more. Did you make it with sourdough? Did the ground cherry kernels give it a distinct taste? or could i leave it out? But I love anis so that is why I want to try making this.
Happy T-Day,

Valerie-Jael said...

Your baking looks wonderful, I love the look of that quiche and the plaited loaf with eggs, yummy! I'm sure you all enjoyed your homemade bakes! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

craftytrog said...

Your pie and bread look delicious Erika! I really miss cheddar, since I gave it up because of my gallstones. Now I am intolerant to it ☹️ Vegan cheese just isn't the same.
Happy T-Day,
Alison xx

J said...

Your quiche looks delicious and so does your bread and colourful eggs, strange that you've made that too, I'm guessing these are eaten for breakfast, I thought the ones in Spain were made with sweet bread as they had sprinkles on.
I never made anything with yeast, it always turns out rock hard, LOL good as a doorstop though.
Have a Happy T Day
Jan S

CJ Kennedy said...

I made braided bread, too, Italian Pane di Pasqua more of a sweet egg bread than the Greek loaf. Orthodox Easter is May 2. ( I always thought it was only a week behind Christian Easter, but guess not). The braided loaf you made looks fabulous. Too get the deep red color with the 4 pack food coloring, you just leave the egg in the dye for a very long time. I bet your house smelled fantastic. Happy T Day

Divers and Sundry said...

I haven't made a quiche in many a year, but your photo makes me think I need to dig out that recipe. Your bread is pretty and looks like the perfect thing with my morning cup of coffee. I'd think maintaining the clear plaiting through the bake time would be hard. Happy T Tuesday!

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow,so much yummy baking today! The quiche looks delicious and I'd love to try the bread too, those eggs are perfect to celebrate Easter too 😀. Happy T Day wishes! Hugs, Jo x

DVArtist said...

Well you did well on the baking. The Quiche looks amazing. The bread is fabulous. I was wondering about the colored eggs. Doesn't matter the bread is amazing. Have a nice evening.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Baking can lift the spirits and with results like these you must be feeling good!! Belated Happy T Day, Chrisx

Jeanie said...

This is Rick and I hear you liked my Challah bread loaf. They are probably the same thing with a different name - certainly the same idea. It looks like you had a little too much liquid in the dough. I I am guessing that since the end profile looks a bit flat. I suspect that also affects the braid lift/separation. You probably only need a couple/few tablespoons of flour to make the difference. My experience is that once is rarely enough so do it again and see what happens, either with or without the eggs.