Just in time for Easter, the ladies of St. Katherine’s Philoptochos are holding their annual Bake Sale and Luncheon at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
Kiki Rothman, whose grandparents helped start the bake sale 69 years ago, said the group has been baking since January and storing pastries and treats in freezers at the church.
“We have a solid group of about 50 women and 10 to 12 at a time will get together and bake,” she said. “We just finished baking bread this week.”
The sweet Easter bread – tsoureki, in Greek – is the best seller, Rothman said. “We have a hard time NOT buying the loaves before the bake sale.”
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So what is new this year?
“We will have 5 x 7 mini pans of frozen spanikopita (spinach and cheese pastry), tiropita (layers of buttered phyllo stuffed with an egg and cheese mixture) and pastisio (layers of pasta and ground beef in a bechamel sauce) so folks can stock up.”
Adult Easter baskets with a bottle of wine, Greek olives, pastries and a Greek spice mix that’s good on beef, chicken and pork also will be available.
The lunch and dinner menu includes chicken souvlaki with orzo, green beans, salad, roll and tea ($10); pastichio with salad, roll and tea ($8); and a Greek salad with roll and tea ($6). Dinner and pastry orders can be placed by calling (803) 461-0249, FAX (803) 254-6197, or online at stkatherinesphiloptochos.org/bake-sale-luncheon. Pick-up between 4-6 p.m. Thursday.
Proceeds from the event will benefit local and international charities.
Tsoureki (Sweet Bread)
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pkgs active dry yeaast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
8 cups flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water for egg wash
sesame seeds or sliced almonds for topping
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on medium hight heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove milk from heat and stir in sugar, butter and sale. Cool to lukewarm.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with 2 tablespoons of the flour.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly add the cooled milk mixture, dissolved yeast and 2 cups of flour into the beaten eggs.
Gradually add half the remaining flour into the yeast mixture, beating with a wooden spoon or dough hook of an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon peel and orange peel. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Dough may be sticky.
Turn dough out on to a floured surface, roll to cover in flour. Let rest for 5 minutes, then knead until smooth (about 5 minutes). Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with wax paper and a cloth. Let dough rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1-2 hours).
Punch risen dough down and knead a few times. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape dough into a braided loaf and place on a greased baking pan. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise again 1 1/2 hours or until double in bulk.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. (OPTIONAL STEP: A hard-boiled, dyed Easter egg may be inserted on top of the loaf, pointed upward.) Brush loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or sliced almonds. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and loaf gives off a hollow sound when tapped.
If you go
St. Katherine’s Philoptochos Bake Sale & Lunch
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday. Pick-up for dinner orders, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1931 Sumter St.