Lazarakia recipe

  • 2 lbs unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups lukewarm water (plus a little more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon orange peel, one teaspoon cinnamon or a combination of both
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix all the dough ingredients and then knead well, until the batter becomes a nice soft dough. You may need to add a little extra water, depending on the quality of the flour. Cover and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes in a warm place.

Shape an egg-sized amount of dough into an oblong. For the hands, form two little ropes of dough and place them in an x-shape across the middle of the oblong. Form a third little rope into a circle and place it on top of the oblong for the head. Stick two cloves in the middle of the head for eyes.

Place the Lazarakia on the baking sheets and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the bread rolls turn golden-brown.

Variation: chocolate-filled Lazarakia

A favorite, though not so traditional, variation is to wrap a piece of vegan dark chocolate inside the oblong shape before adding the embellishments. The chocolate melts during baking, thus creating chocolate-filled Lazarakia.