How to Make Armenian Easter Bread (Cheoreg)

Traditional Armenian Easter bread is enjoyed by many, especially if it is homemade and delicious. This recipe makes a lot-because we share it with just about everyone. Feel free to divide the recipe.

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Measure 2 cups sugar and place in your blender.

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Crack 10 eggs (in room temperature) to the sugar in the blender-and blend!

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Measure remaining 2 cups sugar, with 4 cups milk in a large pot.

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Remove wrapping of your 1/2 stick butter (8 oz) and your 4 margarine sticks (4 oz each, 16 oz total). I like to use Challenge Butter and Fleischmann's margarine.

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Melt butter, margarine into the sugar and milk mixture.

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Add 3, 1/4 oz packets (3/4 oz total) of yeast into warm water with a pinch of sugar. Just add enough water to make it wet.

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Mastic-something quite unusual found in International and Mid-Eastern markets. It is somewhat like incense and will make your Easter bread quite fragrant.

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Another fragrant spice, Mahleb. Again, most likely only available at specialty Middle-Eastern stores. You may omit mastic and mahleb, but replace with 2 tbsp of vanilla or almond extract instead.

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Crush mastic with Mahleb on the bottom of your large bowl to ensure well incorporation.

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In the meantime, allow butter-milk-sugar mixture to return to room temperature.

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Sift a 5 lb bag or about 12 cups of all-purpose flour into your large bowl.

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Once the butter-sugar-milk mixture has arrived to room temperature, slowly add egg mixture to it, and stir to combine.

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Slowly pour liquid into your flour, mixing together to form a thick dough. Consistency is key. Knead dough until it is just as soft and squishy as your ear lobe cartilage. Cover in plastic wrap.

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Cover with towels to insulate, and let dough rise for 4.5 hours. I like to keep mine in the oven (of course turned off!)

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We've waited and our patience is now rewarded. Take about 1/2 cup dough and form smooth balls, oiling your hands if necessary.

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They should look similar to this.

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Quick video how to braid dough!

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Easiest way to cook these is in cupcake liners in a cupcake tin. Use an egg yolk and (optional 1/4 tsp whiskey) to make an egg wash to brown your Easter bread. The whiskey will help brown the top.

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Traditional Cheoreg has black and white sesame or caraway seeds sprinkled on top.

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For extra special Cheoreg, slivered almonds are a great addition!

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Bake in the oven at 350° F for 45 min to 1 hr. Enjoy with hot tea or just by itself!

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You may also roll out dough into long worms, and braid together to make a different shape. However you make this Armenian Easter Bread, Cheoreg is absolute family tradition! Enjoy!

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