At Easter we offer red eggs and a sweet bread (“tsoureki”) to our godparents, and they give us our Easter candle. The fluffy sweet bread with red eggs is also the centerpiece of the Easter table. I had not eaten this fluffy treat for many years after I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2014 but had always had problems digesting it even before that, as it is rich in gluten to achieve the fluffiness.

After years without sweet bread, I decided to take a chance and make my own. So I started my experiments in March, during weekends when I had the free time that such a recipe needs.

I had a hard time (times!!) It seemed almost impossible to make the sweet bread fluffy with gluten free flour. I felt tired and frustrated after 6 unsuccessful efforts! And finally, I had an enlightenment and came up with the most unorthodox method for the gluten free version.

I am proud and glad to share this eventually successful recipe with a twist with you all.


Yields1 ServingDifficultyAdvanced

Prep Time4 hrsCook Time45 minsTotal Time4 hrs 45 mins

Tip: Check off the ingredients you have used in the recipe or note the ingredients you have and add the rest to you shopping list to buy them. - Attention: All ingredients  must be checked that are Gluten-Free and without traces of gluten.

For the sourdough
 150 ml warm milk (be careful not to be hot)
 50 g fresh yeast (or half the quantity of dry yeast)
 3 tbsp granulated sugar
 150 g Semper’s White Mix flour
For the dough
 200 g Schär's Mix B Bread flour mix
 250 g Semper’s White Mix flour
 50 g Schär Mix it Farina all-purpose flour (or corn flour or one of the above flours)
 1 ½ tbsp baking powder
 1 ½ tbsp xanthan gum
 200 ml heavy cream
 100 g cow's butter
 4 eggs (keep a yolk for spreading the on top before bake)
 130 g sugar (it gets a little bit unsweet but you can put more if you want)
Flavorings
 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or double quantity of orange flavored sugar vanilla)
 ½ tsp mahleb grated
 ½ tsp cardamom grated
 ½ tsp mastic grated
Extras
 3 tbsp sunflower oil for rolling the strings for the bun
 1 milk together with the egg yolk to spread on top before baking
 Almond flaked or sesame for decoration

Abbreviations: g=grams kg= kilograms cup=250 ml tsp= teaspoon=5 ml  tbsp= tablespoon=3 tsp=15 ml ml= millilitre= (1ml=0.034 fl oz / 1fl oz=29.6 ml) l=litre/liter=1000ml

1

Prepare the sourdough by dissolving the yeast in the warm milk and then add the sugar and sifted flour. It becomes a mush. Cover it with cling film wrap and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour. I preheated the oven to 50oC/120oF and I turned it off, when I put the sourdough in.

2

After 1 hour, add 100 g of Schär's bread flour Mix B sifted, mix it and leave for another 1 hour cover it with cling film wrap and leave it in a warm place to rise again.

3

Sift the rest of the flour into a bowl, add the baking powder, xanthan and sugar and mix them. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sourdough and mix/knead. Because it doesn't have a lot of liquid, it basically becomes a dry mixture like dissolved breadcrumbs, like coarse flour, as seen in the photo.

4

Put the eggs in a mixer to beat well. Then slowly add the flour and sugar mixture. About halfway through and while the dough is still relatively wet, add the aromatics. And continue to beat adding the flours.

5

When at some point our dough has become tight and our mixer can no longer beat with the whisk, then we change them with those for the dough and continue.

6

Continue kneading in the mixer by adding the flour mixture little by little and when it is finished, start and slowly add the cream, continuing the kneading. And finally add the melted but not hot butter. And we continue kneading for another 10 minutes, until it becomes a very nice elastic dough. Note that it sticks a little to our hands.

7

We let the dough to rest a bit. Around 20 minutes or so. (During this time, I washed all the dishes I had used so far. I preheated the oven to 50oC/120oF and turned it off.

8

Spread a little sunflower oil on the surface where we will work the strings for the bun. Divide our dough into 8 equal parts, 4 for each bun. To make it easy to work with and because the dough is sticky, we wet our hands with a little sunflower oil so that we can grip the dough and shape our laces more easily.
Note: Our dough is quite light and in order to be able to work with it, it needs very gentle movements. If you find it difficult to roll, try to form/press/open into a cord shape with your hands.

9

We make a braid with the 4 cords. This is where I got a bit confused as I only have boys and I didn't have a little girl to learn how to braid, so lucky those who have little girls and have learned how to braid their hair. (if you find it difficult do it with 3 strings).

10

As soon as we make the bun, we put it on the large baking tray of our oven, after having first spread it with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Place our second bun and cover it and leave it in a warm place or in preheated oven at 50oC/120oF for 1 hour. My new stove I got, has 2 pans, one shallow and one deep, so I put them in the shallow pan and covered them with the deep one. This made it a lot easier because that way they didn't get stuck somewhere. If you can, put glasses on the 4 edges of the pan, put another pan on top and cover them with kitchen towels all together.

11

After 1 hour, they will have doubled in size, or more. Take it out of the oven if you have it there and preheat it to 180°C / 350°F. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp. milk and with a brush spread it gently on each bun. And decorate the top with almond flakes or sesame seeds.

12

Bake for approximately 35 minutes until well browned on top. Turned off oven and leave it for another 10 minutes. Let them cool well and then put them either in a zip bag or in a taper that closes well or in wrap film so that they can be kept soft and not dry out.

Ingredients

For the sourdough
 150 ml warm milk (be careful not to be hot)
 50 g fresh yeast (or half the quantity of dry yeast)
 3 tbsp granulated sugar
 150 g Semper’s White Mix flour
For the dough
 200 g Schär's Mix B Bread flour mix
 250 g Semper’s White Mix flour
 50 g Schär Mix it Farina all-purpose flour (or corn flour or one of the above flours)
 1 ½ tbsp baking powder
 1 ½ tbsp xanthan gum
 200 ml heavy cream
 100 g cow's butter
 4 eggs (keep a yolk for spreading the on top before bake)
 130 g sugar (it gets a little bit unsweet but you can put more if you want)
Flavorings
 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or double quantity of orange flavored sugar vanilla)
 ½ tsp mahleb grated
 ½ tsp cardamom grated
 ½ tsp mastic grated
Extras
 3 tbsp sunflower oil for rolling the strings for the bun
 1 milk together with the egg yolk to spread on top before baking
 Almond flaked or sesame for decoration

Directions

1

Prepare the sourdough by dissolving the yeast in the warm milk and then add the sugar and sifted flour. It becomes a mush. Cover it with cling film wrap and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour. I preheated the oven to 50oC/120oF and I turned it off, when I put the sourdough in.

2

After 1 hour, add 100 g of Schär's bread flour Mix B sifted, mix it and leave for another 1 hour cover it with cling film wrap and leave it in a warm place to rise again.

3

Sift the rest of the flour into a bowl, add the baking powder, xanthan and sugar and mix them. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sourdough and mix/knead. Because it doesn't have a lot of liquid, it basically becomes a dry mixture like dissolved breadcrumbs, like coarse flour, as seen in the photo.

4

Put the eggs in a mixer to beat well. Then slowly add the flour and sugar mixture. About halfway through and while the dough is still relatively wet, add the aromatics. And continue to beat adding the flours.

5

When at some point our dough has become tight and our mixer can no longer beat with the whisk, then we change them with those for the dough and continue.

6

Continue kneading in the mixer by adding the flour mixture little by little and when it is finished, start and slowly add the cream, continuing the kneading. And finally add the melted but not hot butter. And we continue kneading for another 10 minutes, until it becomes a very nice elastic dough. Note that it sticks a little to our hands.

7

We let the dough to rest a bit. Around 20 minutes or so. (During this time, I washed all the dishes I had used so far. I preheated the oven to 50oC/120oF and turned it off.

8

Spread a little sunflower oil on the surface where we will work the strings for the bun. Divide our dough into 8 equal parts, 4 for each bun. To make it easy to work with and because the dough is sticky, we wet our hands with a little sunflower oil so that we can grip the dough and shape our laces more easily.
Note: Our dough is quite light and in order to be able to work with it, it needs very gentle movements. If you find it difficult to roll, try to form/press/open into a cord shape with your hands.

9

We make a braid with the 4 cords. This is where I got a bit confused as I only have boys and I didn't have a little girl to learn how to braid, so lucky those who have little girls and have learned how to braid their hair. (if you find it difficult do it with 3 strings).

10

As soon as we make the bun, we put it on the large baking tray of our oven, after having first spread it with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Place our second bun and cover it and leave it in a warm place or in preheated oven at 50oC/120oF for 1 hour. My new stove I got, has 2 pans, one shallow and one deep, so I put them in the shallow pan and covered them with the deep one. This made it a lot easier because that way they didn't get stuck somewhere. If you can, put glasses on the 4 edges of the pan, put another pan on top and cover them with kitchen towels all together.

11

After 1 hour, they will have doubled in size, or more. Take it out of the oven if you have it there and preheat it to 180°C / 350°F. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp. milk and with a brush spread it gently on each bun. And decorate the top with almond flakes or sesame seeds.

12

Bake for approximately 35 minutes until well browned on top. Turned off oven and leave it for another 10 minutes. Let them cool well and then put them either in a zip bag or in a taper that closes well or in wrap film so that they can be kept soft and not dry out.

Gluten Free Sweet Bread – Tsoureki
  • Every oven heats different. My new oven is slower than the old one. The time I’m giving in every recipe is approximately. Watch them as they baking and adapt the time.
  • Let them cool well and then put them either in a zip bag or in a taper that closes well or in wrap film so that they can be kept soft and not dry out.

Good Luck and Bon Appétit!!!

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