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Greek Easter Biscuits

11 April 2014 / 07:04:30  GRReporter
3060 reads

Danielle Lachana

 

A traditional presence on the Easter Sunday table, these not too sweet biscuits are good with coffee,  or even dipped in milk for breakfast, all year round - so do not only save them for Easter!

Thousands of years ago these biscuits were often shaped like small snakes by the Minoans, as they worshiped the snake for its mystical and healing powers.

Today they can be shaped into circles, braids, horseshoes and more, although the  serpent shape is still really popular.

The raising agent for these biscuits is traditionally ammonium bicarbonate which gives a lighter, flakier texture and a uniquely crisp and golden finish. If you cannot find it, substitute with the same amount of baking powder.

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RECIPE

(Makes  about  40 biscuits)

 

 METHOD

Sift the flour. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one by one then add the vanilla.

Dissolve the ammonium bicarbonate in the milk. (If using baking powder, mix this in with the flour.) Add the milk to the mixture in 2 - 3 stages beating with the dough hook, or a wooden spoon, alternated with the flour. Add as much extra milk as required  to form a smooth, firm dough - do not overwork.

Leave to stand for 1 hour, covered with cling film (plastic wrap) in the fridge.

Take small balls of the dough and shape into thin rolls about 20 cm long by 1 cm wide. The easiest way to do this is by rolling the dough backwards and forwards under your fingers  Fold in half and twist the pieces twice as shown below.

 

 

You can also make other designs if you like. (Here below are my daughter's. The larger one, bottom right, was for tasting!).

 

 

Place on a greaseproof-paper-lined, or greased, baking sheet. Space the biscuits well apart since they expand quite a lot. Brush with the two eggs, beaten.

Bake in a moderate oven at 175o C (350o F, Gas Mark 4), for about  20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown.

Cool on a rack.

Store in a biscuit tin. These biscuits will keep for a couple of weeks providing the container is tightly sealed.

 

Variation  You can add a little grated orange or lemon rind to the mixture. You can also sprinkle the biscuits with sesame seeds after the egg wash and before baking, if liked.

Tags: Easter Greek Easter Biscuits Biscuits Koulourakia
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