The Greek New Year's Eve bread is know as Vassilopita in honor of Saint Basil, the saint patron celebrated on the first day of the year. It is really more a brioche, or a cake, than bread.
Although this bread will bake in about 40 minutes, preparation will take about an hour, plus time spent rising.
Gently remove peel in small strips from the lemon and orange with a zester or a sharp potato peeler, without cutting any of the bitter white pith. Chop finely these strips with a knife. Alternatively, use candied citrus peel.
To activate the yeast, sprinkle it into ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water. Stir lightly and leave to stand until yeast has dissolved.
The mixture of butter and milk should not boil.
In step 4, if using an electric mixer, set it on low. you should not need to beat for longer than 5 minutes.
If necessary, knead in additional flour.
Wrap the coin in film or foil to protect the cake.
Instead of scatter them randomly, write the numerals of the New Year on top of the cake using the blanched almonds.
Serving size: about 12 servings from 1 loaf.
Percent daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. It does not include pwodered sugar for coating.