In celebration of the coming new year, our reader Helen K. sent us a Pontian rendition of Vasilopita.
She says it is “just like” the traditional version — with the coin inside and cut the same way — but that this version is more akin to bread stuffed with kefalotiri.
“It’s not a sweet recipe, though I make both personally,” Helen added.
- 2 lbs (+ a little bit extra) of all-purpose flour
- 1/5 lb fresh yeast OR two dry sachets OR 1/2 lb (+ a little bit extra) of yeast
- ½ cup cow butter
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup lukewarm milk
- 1 lb (+ a little bit extra) of grated mizithra cheese
- Dissolve the fresh yeast in lukewarm milk in a bοwl. (If using yeast, combine it in a bowl with a little flour and lukewarm water so that it becomes slurry. Cover the bowl with plastic cooking wrap and let it sit overnight). Add butter, eggs and salt. Add the flour and lukewarm water as needed to make a soft dough that won’t stick to your hands.
- Cover the dough and leave it for 45 minutes in a warm place to inflate. Test for readiness by pressing with one finger. If it does not push back, then it is ready.
- Take the dough on a floured counter and divide it into two pieces. Open each piece with your hands, grease a round baking dish and lay out one piece in it.
- Spread the mizithra over the first piece of dough and cover with the second piece. Put the coin in the dough wherever you want after wrapping it in a little foil.
- Let the Vasilopita inflate for about 20 minutes. Then smear the surface with the egg yolk dissolved in some water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake at 360 F for 45-50 minutes.
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