Lazarakia (λαζαράκια), meaning little Lazarus, is a sweet, spicy small bread that is handmade on Lazarus Saturday, one week before the Greek Orthodox Easter.  

They represent the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Each region of Greece has a variation of how they make them, however, most have a similar sweet tasting flavour. They are of course Nistisima (Lenten) meaning they do not contain any dairy or egg products and are shaped like boys with crossed arms on their chest. Also, their bodies seem to be wrapped in burial clothes. 

Lazarakia (λαζαράκια)

Course: Dessert, Easter, Side Dish
Cuisine: Greek, Lent
Keyword: Easter bread, Greek Easter, Lazarakia, Lent

Ingredients

  • 4.5 tsp Olympian Yeast
  • 12-14 cups Olympian Special White Flour
  • 1.5 cups Sugar
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 2.5 - 3 cups Lukewarm water
  • 0.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Olympian Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Olympian Aniseed
  • 1 tsp Olympian Mahlepi
  • 0.5 tsp Olympian Masticha

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the 2 1/2 – 3 cups lukewarm water.
  • Add sugar and salt and stir well.
  • Add remaining water, oil cinnamon and 6 cups flour and stir the mixture until creamy.
  • Slowly add enough of remaining flour to make a medium dough.
  • Divide dough into however many Lazarakia you’d like and roll into logs. Cut slits for arms and legs. Cross arms across chest and pinch a head.
  • Place on slightly greased cookie sheets, cover with towel and let rise for about an hour or until almost doubled in size.
  • Bake loaves for 20-30 minutes or until hollow when tapped on bottom.
    Enjoy!