I didn’t make our traditional lamb and roasted potatoes this year for our Easter dinner. There was just the two of us and I couldn’t justify so much food. Don’t get me wrong. I made a great dinner. We ate very well here on the Cut Off, but, lamb was rather expensive this year and you can’t really make just a little bit of a leg of lamb. I just couldn’t let the day pass without something Greek. I had picked up some yeast earlier in the week with hopes of rising to the occasion. Since we were planning a low-key day and I had plenty of time, Greek Easter bread was on the menu.
Right after church, out came the bowls and measuring cups, the flour and sugar and eggs and the butter and sesame seeds. Tom came up from the bowels of the basement with my Yia Yia’s big, round bread pan and our quiet afternoon was soon whirring and stirring and kneading about with a cloud of flour dust as proof that bread making was at hand. Before long, the dough rose to perfection to the rim of the buttered and covered bowl. I punched it down and turned it around with the satisfaction that comes with making bread, then I filled the pan and covered the dough for one more rising. When well risen on this our holy day, I painted the dough ever-so-gently with an egg wash and sprinkled it liberally with sesame seeds. How I wished I had dyed the traditional red eggs of Greek Easter to place one in the center.
Once in the oven, this bread reached biblical proportions. It grew and grew, inside and outside and over the sides of the pan. Our afternoon was filled with yeasty scents emanating from the oven and our taste buds groaned in anticipation of freshly made bread with our Easter dinner. We could hardly wait for it to finish baking. I will tell you that this loaf’s resurrection was so full of purpose that it wrapped itself around the rim of the pan and covered it like an Easter bonnet. It was no small accomplishment to free it from the pan, in one piece, where it sat on a rack to cool.
It was still slightly warm and soft when I sliced it for dinner; its heavenly scent arising to greet me as I placed slices gently into the bread basket. I no longer remember what else we ate; only the delectable Greek Easter bread!