New Year’s Eve bread recipe from Cyprus. Cut into pieces and distributed to the members of the family or to friends who happen to be present and the one who finds the hidden coin is considered to be the lucky one of the year. My mom used a gold coin.
Vasilopita ~ New Year’s Eve bread
5 cups of purpose flour
2 cups of butter
2 cups of sugar (not crazy about the sugar, but I will do it since it is a tradition)
1 cup of organic lukewarm milk
2 tbsp of yeast
1 tbsp of anise seeds
1 cup of blanched split almonds
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 tsp of salt
Preheat oven to 180*C or 350*F
In a small saucepan, boil the anise seeds with one cup of water and pour through a strainer into a bowl. In another bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk and add one cup of flour. Stir until it thickens. Cover with a thick towel and leave it for about an hour to rise.
Heat butter, slightly to melt. Beat 8 eggs with sugar.
Mix the salt and the rest of the flour and make a hollow in the middle, pour the yeast and anise seeds in the hollow and mix well. Add the melted butter and the beaten eggs, knead for about 20 minutes until cream-like. Cover again with a towel and leave it for about an hour to rise.
Knead again for 5 minutes and pour into a greased round 25cm baking pan. With a blade, you may design on the surface different shapes. Spread the surface with 1 beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and split almonds. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
After baking, let it cool and remove from the baking pan, and with a knife, make a deep slit on the side of the cake and insert the wrapped coin. Serve and enjoy.
Fun, fun. Be creative, food is art.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay safe.