Vasilopita is a sweet bread, and greeks have a tradition. When the year changes, we cut and serve the Vasilopita. Whoever has baked it, has put a medallion or a coin inside. When the Vasilopita is cut and served, the person who gets the coin is considered to be blessed for the new year.
It's nice, especially for the kids
This recipe needs a lot of preparation. But the results are rewarding. I do it every New Year's Eve, to have the sweet bread for the first moments of the new year.
Ingredients: (for a big Vasilopita)
1 packet active dry yeast
100 gr unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup warm milk (not hot)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a pinch of salt
zest of half an orange
1/2 tbsp Mahlab powder (Mahlepi) - it's a significant spice
a pinch gum mastic powder
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour or more
1 coin or medallion, wrapped in foil
sesame seeds and chopped almonds
1 egg beaten
1st mix :In a bowl, stir together the milk, yeast and 1/2 cup of flour. Cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place, until it is doubled in size, for about 1-2 hours.
2nd mix:Then put in a large bowl the flour, orange zest, Mahlab, Mastic powder, salt and mix it.
3rd mix: Then melt the butter and mix it with the sugar. The mix shouldn't be very hot.
In the large bowl where we had the flour mix, we combine the other 2 mixes into one. We mix thoroughly to make a thick dough. We leave the dough once again to rise in a warm place, for 1-2 hours.
After that, we brush a baking pan with melted butter and we place the dough. We insert the coin or medallion into the loaf. On top of the dough, we brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with chopped almonds and whole sesame seeds.
Bake in preheated oven (180 C) , until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
It will look like this:
I wish the best 2014 to all members of TB Forum!