Who will get the lucky coin in the New Year’s Greek sweet bread? Every year from the time I was a child we always had Vasilopita or Greek sweet bread. The baker adds a coin inside before baking and the person who gets the slice with the coin will be lucky all year.
There are so many superstitions and traditions when it comes to New Year’s Day. I always make black-eyed peas with rice, which is a lucky dish to have in the south where I grew up. My grandmother always felt that a man should be the first to enter the house on New Year’s Day for luck and wouldn’t open the door for a woman. My mother would send my brother’s outside to walk back in just to be safe.
The most enjoyable New Year’s Day tradition for us was always the Vasilopita or Greek sweet bread. And all of us kids would hope we would be the lucky one to get the coin.
The bread is only slightly sweet and is great with a cup of coffee. This bread is especially tasty toasted with butter for a super breakfast dish. If you've never made bread before this one is a really easy one and has a subtle flavor with a dense texture. So it's best to cut the bread in medium thin slices.
Vasilopita (New Year’s Greek sweet Bread)
- 1-cup milk (scalded)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 packets of yeast
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 5 – 6 cups all purpose flour
- 1 egg white
- 2 clean coins (washed and dried quarters)
In a large bowl pour hot milk over the butter, sugar and salt. When milk becomes lukewarm add two beaten eggs and the two yeast packets.
Next add cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Knead until smooth. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Then, cover with a clean towel and let rise until it has doubled in bulk.
After it rises, punch the dough down and shape into two round loaves and place in greased pans. Insert a coin in each loaf. Brush with beaten egg white. Cover and let rise again.
Finally, bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for around 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Now that your loaves are baking you can see how easy they are to make.
Makes two round loaves.