Did you know? There are many variations to this Easter bread recipe that are enjoyed by several cultures & faiths around the World, from Greek 'Tsoureki', Italian 'Pane di Pasqua' to Russian 'Kulich'.
In a small bowl or glass jug, combine the yeast with just 100ml of warm milk. Add just 50g sugar and 100g of flour, whisk and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, melt the butter and keep aside.
In another bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, mixing until it’s smooth and put aside.
In a large saucepan, gently warm through the remainder of the milk (300ml), sugar and oil until just warm. Remove from heat and add the eggs, saltrnand vanilla. Transfer this to a large bowl and gently mix in the yeast mixture from step 1.
For dough, gradually add flour to yeast mixture, mixing to form a soft dough, then slowly add the melted butter, kneading until it is incorporatedrnwell into the dough and no longer sticks to your hands.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. Take one half of the dough, add the melted chocolate and knead for 3 minutes until well incorporated.
Cover each bowl with cling wrap, place in a warm area and allow the dough to rise for first proof for approximately 40 minutes.
For plaiting, divide the plain dough into 3 equal portions and the chocolate dough into 3 equal portions. Then divide each of those portions into another 3 equal smaller portions rolling them out into 40cm lengths. At this stage you will have 9 plain lengths and 9 chocolate lengths of dough. Combine 3 chocolate lengths (pinched together) with 3 plain lengths (pinched together) and twist the two doughs to form a marbled length.rnYou will end up with 3 marbled lengths of dough. Plait the 3 lengths together to complete.
Place braid onto baking sheet and in a warm place to prove again forrn30 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
After second proof, brush the top of the bread with egg wash mixture, sprinkle with almonds and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. To avoid the bread browning too quickly, cover with aluminium foil halfway through the cooking time, close oven and continue to bake.