Homemade Lazarakia Recipe

Today the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates “Saturday of Lazarus” and on this day it’s a tradition in Greece to make Lazarakia (Little Lazaruses).

These are traditionally small, sweet and mildly spiced bread, made only once a year. They represent the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Each region in Greece has its own variation of Lazarakia, however, most have a similar sweet-tasting flavour. 


  • 1 x kg of plain flour
  • 2 & 1/2  x cups of lukewarm water + extra for the kneading
  • 1/4 x cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 x cup of olive oil
  • 1 x cup of dark raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 x cup of finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 14 x grams dried yeast
  • 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ground cloves
  • whole cloves to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C and place baking paper on a few trays. 
  • Dissolve the yeast in a glass filled with lukewarm water and set aside.
  • Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Fill it with the sugar, the olive oil and dissolved yeast.
  • Start kneading the ingredients with your hands, slowly adding two and a half cups of lukewarm water, just enough until you have a relatively firm dough. Then add the spices, the raisins and the walnuts and continue kneading thoroughly until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.
  • Place dough into the bowl, cover with towel and allow dough to rise and double (about an hour).   
  • Get quantities of the dough and cut it into small pieces. Start to shape each piece into small men. Shape separately the hands and the body (see photo above). Form eyes, with the tip of a clove. 
  • Transfer each piece of bread onto oven trays, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  • Brush Lazarakia with some oil for a glossy effect and place trays in the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until they are nicely golden.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool on metal racks before serving.

Recipe and Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Traditional Lagana for Kathara Deftera

Today is a very significant day in Greece as it’s Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) and the start of Sarakosti, the Great Lent period before Greek Easter.

Kathara Deftera marks the beginning of abstaining from all meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. The traditional foods for today are calamari, octopus, prawns, olives, taramosalata, skordalia, and Lagana, which is a specially-made flat bread; that is only consumed on Clean Monday. With a sesame seed crust and a soft, airy inside, this recipe includes olive oil, however, those observing a strict fast can omit the oil. 

The quantities below are for four large loaves- halve or double if you would like to make less/more. 

Kali Sarakosti! 


– 1 kilo of all-purpose flour

– 18 grams dry yeast

– 1 tablespoon salt

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 tablespoon sugar

– sesame seeds for sprinkling

– 700 grams of lukewarm water


– Place the flour, yeast, and sugar in a big bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

– Make a well in the centre and place olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly with your hands.

– Add the third cup slowly and kneed mixture with your hands, until it becomes a smooth-like dough.

– Shape the dough into a ball, brush it lightly with olive oil and allow it to rise in a covered bowl for about 40 minutes.

– When ready, place the dough on your workbench, dusted with flour, and knead the dough again for another 5 minutes.

– Cut into 4 pieces.

– Place on lightly oiled baking sheets and shape into rectangular or oval loaves.

– Place on a baking tray and brush lightly with olive oil.

– Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

– Place in 200 degrees C oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Recipe and Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Tiropsomo Recipe 

Tiropsomo is a soft and airy homemade bread filled with creamy Feta cheese. Perfect as a starter or side, this delicious bread is easy to make and will be a definite hit amongst all cheese lovers! 


  • 600 x grams plain flour
  • 1 x tablespoon olive oil, extra for drizzling
  • 7 x grams yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1.5 x cups lukewarm water
  • 400 x grams Feta cheese
  • pepper, to taste


  • Place flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Make a hole in the centre and add salt, water, and olive oil.
  • Knead the mixture with your hands, until you get a smooth-like dough. If it seems a little dry, add a few more drops of lukewarm water.
  • Place cling wrap over the bowl and allow to sit for 30 minutes, for the dough to rise.
  • In the meantime, crumble Feta and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Place baking paper sheet on a baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. 
  • When the dough is ready, divide into 2 equal pieces.
  • Take one piece and place it onto baking paper. Using your hands, gently form a round shape base.
  • Place Feta all over the base and sprinkle with pepper.
  • Form another piece of dough into a round shape and place evenly on top of each other. Press the sides down to close. 
  • Drizzle lightly with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or till golden brown. 

*Recipe and Image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread Recipe

Christopsomo (Christ’s Bread) is a type of traditional Christmas bread prepared all across Greece. The bread itself and the ceremonial nature of preparing it symbolizes the prosperity of each household.

By Carolina Doriti

Insights Greece - Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread Recipe

It is typically made on Christmas Eve, but in several parts of Greece, it’s also prepared for New Year’s Day and the Epiphany (January 6).

There are many variations of this recipe in the different regions of Greece. The bread is usually large in size and round, sometimes elaborately decorated, but most commonly covered in sesame seeds and decorated with a big cross that has a shelled walnut at its center – a symbol of fertility.

The recipe I am sharing is a simple Christopsomo – a large, round loaf topped with a big dough cross, a shelled walnut and sesame seeds, no complicated or elaborate decorations in sight. This is the version that you most often see in bakeries in Athens.

To honor its symbolic importance, high-quality ingredients are used for this particular
bread such as honey, rosewater, nuts, sesame and aromatic spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise seeds and cumin. I put anise seeds in the bread mix for extra sweetness and aroma, while the hints of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg add an extra festive flair!

Christopsomo (Christ’s Bread)

360 gr hard wheat flour (bread flour)
360 gr all-purpose white flour (or 720 gr all-purpose white flour if bread flour is available)
17 gr fresh yeast (block yeast) or sourdough starter (or 9 gr instant yeast)
10 gr salt
1-1 ½ tbsp anise seeds
¾ tbsp powdered cinnamon
½ tsp ground clove
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ tbsp sugar
420 ml warm water
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds
1 walnut in its shell

Mix the two flours in a large bowl. With your hands shred the yeast (if using fresh yeast or sourdough starter) and add it to the flour mix. Add in the cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise seeds, and sugar, and mix. Make a well in the center. Gradually pour in the water and salt as you mix with your hands. Knead for about 10-15 minutes. Cover with a clean towel and Insights Greece - Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread Recipeallow to rest and rise for 1-1.5 hours.

Uncover and knead again to release the air. Cut 260 gr from the dough and set aside. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. With the rest of the dough shape a round loaf and place on the parchment paper. Divide the remaining 260 gr of dough into two equal pieces of 130 gr. Roll them into two long ropes of equal length and then cut their ends with a knife (see the above photo). Spray the loaf with water and place the two long ropes crosswise, attaching the end pieces of each rope at the bottom of the loaf. Spray again with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Allow the loaf to rise once more for 45 minutes. Place the walnut in the center and let rise again for another 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees C. Spray the bread with water to create a crispy crust. Alternatively, you can spray it with sugar water for a sweeter and glossier result. Place bread on the lowest rack and bake for 20 minutes at 230 degrees C. Bring the heat down to 200 degrees C and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down on a clean towel or a rack.

This recipe first appeared in Culinary Backstreets and was created by talented chef, food writer, and stylist Carolina Doriti.

You can read our interview with Carolina here.


Traditional Tiganopsomo Recipe

Tiganopsomo is a homemade fried Greek pita bread, which only requires a few ingredients and is so simple to make. If you are after a savoury snack you can crumble Feta and oregano onto the bread, or for a sweet version drizzle some honey and cinnamon on top!  

This recipe makes 10 pieces.

  • 500 x grams plain flour
  • 1 x teaspoon salt
  • 7 x grams yeast
  • 2 x cups lukewarm water
  • olive oil for frying
  • Place flour in a large bowl.
  • Using your hands, place a hole in the middle of flour and add salt, yeast and water.
  • Knead the dough with your hands, until it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick.
  • Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for about 35 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 10 pieces
  • Using a small rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle (pita size).
  • Heat frying pan and add olive oil to cover base.
  • Add one pita into pan and fry on medium heat till golden brown. Using two forks or tongs, turn over and fry other side.
  • Place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  • Repeat process for all pita breads. 
  • Add topping of your choice. 

Recipe & Image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)

Why Greece’s Simple Koulouri is Such a Popular Snack

If you’ve ever been to any of Greece’s largest cities, surely you would have come across a Koulouri stand, selling a round-shaped bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

And if you’ve ever wondered what’s so good about it? It’s jam-packed with valuable carbohydrates and proteins, making it the country’s most popular breakfast on the run for both locals and visitors. As for the taste? When you take a bite, its crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside texture will undoubtedly leave you wanting more!

Although it can be found in most regions of Greece, the Koulouri is most loved by Thessalonikians and Athenians, and in both cities, you are guaranteed to find a Koulouri stand on every second street corner. It’s standard to watch locals running around town, biting on a Koulouri as they go about their daily activities, as it really is the ideal snack at any time of the day.

This super simple treat, which was traditionally made in a ring form has slowly evolved over the years and now comes in a variety of flavours including meat and cheese varieties, as well as multi-seed, tahini, and whole wheat options. Certain bakeries have gone even fancier, creating twisted and braided versions.

If it seems too simple for your liking, you can always cut the Koulouri in half and add cheese, or spread some of your favourite jam or honey over it.

Just make sure you head out early to grab your Koulouri, as it’s best enjoyed fresh and you’ll avoid disappointment, as they do sell out quickly!

All images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)