The texture, flavor and experience of choreg is a cross between brioche, Easter bread and challah. It’s great as is with a cup of your favorite java/tea or you can add layers of flavors by incorporating some dried fruits like currants, raisins, figs, oranges, cranberries or chocolate chips. The recipe may seem laborious, but I assure you that the results are well worth it.
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm milk
¼ cup unbleached a/p flour
About ¼ cup milk
2-1/2 cups unbleached a/p flour
1-1/2 tsp mahleb* pulverized
2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temp
1 egg yolk
½ cup caster sugar Plus 1-1/2 tbsp
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg yolk
½ tbsp cream or milk
Sesame seeds, almond slivers or chopped hazelnuts
- Dissolve the yeast with the warmed milk (plus 2 tbsp worth lukewarm water) and let it stand until it becomes frothy, about 10 minutes (I skipped adding the sugar here)
- Then, add in the ¼ cup flour, stir to mix, cover with cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes until bubbles form all over
- Add the remainder of the ingredients to the sponge, milk, flour, pulverized mahleb, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, sugar and melted butter
- Mix the ingredients together with fingers until the dough comes together. Transfer to work surface and knead for about 15-20 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Place it in greased bowl cover loosely with cloth and allow to double in volume for 3 hours.
- Punch down the dough, shape into a log. Divide log into 20 small, palm size pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball. Cover with cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes
- Roll each ball into ropes, cover with cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes
- Shape each rope into wheels, cover with cloth and allow to rest for 1-1/2-2 hours or until wheels have doubled in bulk
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Make glaze (yolk + cream/milk). Brush each wheels with glaze twice, resting a few minutes in between. After the second glaze, sprinkle each wheel liberally with sesame seeds and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake on middle rack for 15-20 minutes or until top of choregs turn golden in colour.
Yields 20 palm size choreks
* Mahlab can be found at Middle Eastern specialty food stores.