Vassilopeta (New Year Bread)

Cooking With Rania - "New Year’s Dinner"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 12/26/2012

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Vassilopeta (New Year Bread)

2 packs yeast
1/2 cups lukewarm water with 1-tablespoon sugar
1-cup sugar
1-cup milk
1 stick of sweet butter
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
7 cups all purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1-tablespoon milk
Sesame seeds

Lucky Coin

Proof yeast in sugar water until yeast mixture begins to bubble.

Place milk in microwave and heat until hot. Remove milk from microwave and add butter - stir until butter begins to melt place all liquids with 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, and eggs in bowl of Cuisinart stand mixer fitted with the bread hook - begin to blend ingredients together on low speed. Continue adding flour until dough forms and is no longer sticky. Remove from the bowl and briefly knead on a counter lightly dusted with flour. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place - covered - until doubled in volume.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Cut each half into three pieces and roll into long ropes. Braid the bread and then form it into a wreath. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and tuck your lucky coin (wrapped in foil) into the bread. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Allow the bread to rise again until doubled in size. Bake in 350 degree oven until bread is golden brown and when tapped, it sounds hollow. It will take about 30 minutes. Allow cooling before slicing.

Yield: 2 large round braided loaves

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