The last Saturday before Holy Week begins, is the Saturday of Lazarus. Lazarus was a beloved friend of Christ and his resurrection was a sign for the upcoming Christ’s resurrection after a week. In past farmers did not work on that day, because they believed that whatever they would cultivate would die. They only collected the woods in order to bake the easter cookies (koulourakia). On this day mothers bake “ Lazarakia’’, small demi- sweet breads of a shrouded man shape. They figure them just as Lazarus is represented. These lenten breads can be eaten by the whole familiy during the fasting days. In Koroni, lazaraki is an eastern bread which is made by the godmothers for their godchildren. Ιt also has the shape of a small man, with tiny legs and feet and an egg in the place of head.
Lelekos M., Aποσπάσματα εκ των λαϊκών εθίμων, μύθων και λοιπών, σελ. 8 (Αθήνα 1891).
1 k. all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
120 gr. sugar
2 tbs honey
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp anise
½ tsp salt
3 tbs olive oil
oil for brushing
6 whole nuts
The night before baking, mix the yeast with some warm water and 1 ½ cup of all- purpose flour. Stir well, and set aside, covered, in a warm place.
The next morning, in a bowl sift the remaining flour. Make a well in the center and pour in the the starter, sugar, honey, spices, salt, oil and water.
Knead well till the dough becomes elastic and shiny. Cover it and let it rise for 2 hours. When the dough is doubled in size, divide it in seven pieces. One of them must be larger than the others. Roll the six smaller pieces into cords.
Stick a nut in one end of each cord. Cut the larger piece of dough in 12 ropes. Stick the ends of 2 ropes near each nut and braid forming an ancient shroud.
Place the breads on a oiled baking pan and cover them. Let them rise for 2 hours.
Brush the Lazarakia with olive oil and bake them in preheated oven of 200° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Μore on lazarakia, here.
Copyright © 2007 historyofgreekfood.com