Lazarakia: How to make traditional Lenten Greek Easter bread


Little Lazarakia are traditional Lenten Greek Easter breads, made in Greece and Cyprus, eaten on Lazarus Saturday. They symbolise the resurrection of Lazarus and have the shape of a little man wrapped in a shroud, as Lazarus is depicted.

Here is our Lazarakia recipe by

The Lazarakia recipe:  


For the “prozymi” (Mixture 1)

  • 350g lukewarm water (12.3 oz.)
  • 8g dry yeast (0.3 oz.)
  • 10g sugar (0.35 oz.)
  • 70g all purpose flour (2.5 oz.)

For the dough

  • 635g all purpose flour (22 oz.)
  • 90g sugar (3.2 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mahleb powder (optional)
  • 50g olive oil (1.8 oz.)
  • 25g vegetable oil (0.9 oz.)
  • 1 tbsp sugar dissolved in 50g/ 2 oz. water for coating
  • 40 whole cloves for the eyes


  1. To prepare this Lazarakia bread recipe start by adding all the ingredients from the “mixture 1” into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix to combine. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the yeast to work.
  2. In a separate bowl add the flour, spices, salt and sugar and mix with a spoon to combine. 
  3. Add this mixture in the stand mixers bowl along the yeast mixture from step 1. Pour in the olive oil and vegetable oil. Use a dough hook to knead the dough until smooth and not sticky for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm environment for about 1 hour, until it doubles its size. 
  5. Gently deflate the dough with your hands and separate the dough in 20 balls. Shape each ball like shown in the pictures. 
  6. Dissolve the sugar in the water and brush the top of the breads. 
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 160-170C for about 20 minutes until golden and cooked through. Enjoy!





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