Easter Bread (Armenian Choereg)

    4 hours 25 minutes

    This is a slightly sweet bread traditionally made at Easter. It's lovely if you can buy it but not hard to make yourself. Mahleb spice sharpens the sweet a bit.

    63 people made this

    Serves: 15 

    • 1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 125g margarine
    • 1/2 cup (110g)white sugar
    • 1/4 cup (65ml) lukewarm water
    • 1 teaspoon white sugar
    • 1 sachet (7g) active dry yeast
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 cups (375g) plain flour, or as needed
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground mahleb
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg beaten
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds

    Preparation:4hours  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:4hours25min 

    1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, butter and margarine. Heat until butter and margarine are melted, but do not let it boil. Stir in the 1/2 cup of sugar until dissolved, then set aside to cool to lukewarm.
    2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface, and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
    3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and stir a little to break up the yolks. Slowly pour in the heated milk mixture while whisking constantly, so as to temper the eggs and not cook them. Add the yeast mixture, and stir just until blended.
    4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, mahleb and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until it forms a sticky dough. Pour onto a floured surface, and knead in additional flour as needed to make a more substantial dough. Knead for about 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
    5. When the dough has doubled, punch down again, and let rise again until doubled. It will only take about half as long this time.
    6. Separate the dough into 2 even portions, then separate each of those into thirds. Roll each of those into ropes about 30cm long. Plait the sets of three ropes together, pinching the ends to seal, and tucking them under for a better presentation. Place the loaves onto baking trays lined with baking paper. Loaves should be spaced about 10cms apart. Set in a warm place to rise until your finger leaves an impression behind when you poke the loaf gently.
    7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Brush the loaves with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    8. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until nicely golden brown all over.

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    Reviews in English (58)


    Ani, God Bless you for sharing this coveted recipe! I lost my grandmother's recipe for choereg No doubt I was thrilled to find this, which turned out as good as I remember grandma's. I had to use about 8 cups of flour for this recipe, and instead of the butter/margarine combo, I used all butter and the result was superb! Thanks again for sharing.  -  08 Apr 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This recipe was wonderful and easy to follow. I used all butter instead of half butter and half margarine. My husband requested I make this as his grandmother is Armenian and many of his Aunts make it in smaller loaves than this recipe calls for to hold their boiled eggs in on the Easter table. As he requested it a bit late I did an online search and found this. My husband said it tasted just like he remembered. As the recipe says, DO NOT omit the Mahleb! It may be hard to find but it does make the recipe perfect. Also, using the same braiding technique mentioned on smaller sections of dough and connecting the ends to form a small circle produces a lovely "egg cup." when you do this the same cooking time applies.  -  16 Apr 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Thank you bunches for sharing your mother's recipe. I'm sure she won't be upset once she learns that it has received so many stars ; ) WHERE TO PURCHASE MAHLEB: you can purchase it on-line by going to The Spice House. (Ani is registered with them.) TIPS by D McM from Toronto: Use mahleb in similar quantity to how you use nutmeg in any bread or pastry recipe. Mahleb does wonders when added to the dough of shortbread, pound cake, pie crusts and waffles.  -  11 Sep 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)