Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add the butter stirring it into the milk so it melts. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, place 100 grams of the flour with the yeast, salt, orange zest and one teaspoon of the sugar. Pour in the cooled milk/butter mixture and beat with a wooden spoon.
Add the remaining flour, sugar, orange juice, mahlepi and eggs. Mix until a soft dough forms.
Knead the tsoureki dough for 10 minutes. This will work the gluten and ensure our dough is soft and elastic.
Once kneaded, place in an oiled bowl and lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
Once it has doubled, take it out and divide the mixture in two. With one of the halves, split into three equal portions and shape these three portions into "ropes".
Lay three strips of dough in front of you.
Join the tsoureki ropes at the top - by pressing them together.
Form into braids. The braids need to be tight, so the bread does not expand sideways.
Tuck the bottom of the ropes under and press to seal.
Bake in a preheated 180 deg C fan forced / 200 deg C standard oven for 25 minutes until golden.
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