by Leah Halmagyi


  • 7 eggs
  • red egg dye
  • 3 sachets (21g) dried yeast
  • 600g bakers flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • finely-grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp mahlepi
  • 150ml milk
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp fine salt


1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 3 eggs in a small saucepan of cold water with red egg dye and cook (instructions differ from brand to brand). Once cooked, allow to cool completely.
2 Combine the yeast with 1 Tbsp of flour and 1 Tbsp warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, until foamy. Put the flour, sugar, orange zest, mahlepi and yeast mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed with the dough hook. Add the milk and 3 eggs, then mix until a shaggy dough forms.
3 Add the butter and salt then continue mixing on low speed for 5 minutes, until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, then set aside for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
4 Divide into three equal pieces and roll each out to a log 60cm long. Braid, then coil up to make a circle, squeezing the ends to join. Place on a lined oven tray, cover, then set aside for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
5 Beat the final egg and brush onto the top of the dough, then press the red eggs into the surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until deep golden. Cool on a wire rack.