Let’s face it. Some of us are not gifted bakers. I include myself in the ranks of those suffering from baker’s anxiety. And my family’s vasilopita is a tsoureki – a sweet, yeasted bread that can go wrong in about 1,000 different ways. Thankfully, my family is full of more talented culinary artists who have taken pity on me and put together a straightforward recipe. No obscure ingredients or secret techniques. Even I can’t mess this up.
This recipe is not necessarily traditional, but is a collaboration between two generations. It started in Thessaloniki, with a list of simple ingredients. The execution, however, was more difficult to translate across language, time, and systems of measurement. After all, telling me to “add enough flour” or to “wait until the dough is big” is about as useful as trying to teach a dog calculus. So, in Boston, we broke the recipe into different phases of bread making. After several rounds of trial and error, we emerged with a recipe that is a) easy to follow; b) stripped down to the basic steps; and c) exhaustively explained.
Here’s the recipe – complete with detailed instructions and notes:
Karipidou-Collins Basic Tsoureki Vasilopita Recipe
Happy Baking and Happy New Year!