Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Litya Bread (Artoklasia)


Many times, the vigil before a great feast (in this case, Theophany) is celebrated with a litya service in which bread (and wheat, wine and oil) are blessed and then distrubuted to the congregation. For more information go here or here. Unlike prosphora, the bread used in the Divine Liturgy which contains ONLY flour, salt, yeast and water, litya bread also contains spices, sugar and oil. Even so, it is still fasting (non-dairy) and so can be made as a large loaf for general purposes during fasting seasons. I suggest making it for home-use first to try out the recipe. It is by far the most popular bread I make at home!

Recipe for Litya Bread

4 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast (equivalent to two packets)
1 T white sugar
1 c. hot water

1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. orange juice

3 c. all purpose flour
3 c. whole wheat flour
*     *     *     *     *     *
Mix first three ingredients in small bowl to proof yeast while mixing the rest.

Mix next seven ingredients in large bowl and stir well. Add proofed yeast to large bowl. Add flour, 2 cups at a time, stirring with fork in between. Mix in bowl with hands, then turn out onto floured surface. Knead for about 15 minutes until smooth.

Place back in bowl and cover with cloth that has been rinsed well in hot water and wrung out. Place covered bowl in warm oven to rise for at least one hour.

Form into five round loaves (generally five are taken to church, but I usually make about eight smaller loaves and leave three at home because we don't have many people attend vigil) and place on floured pan, at least 2 inches apart. With a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut a simple cross (+) into the top of each loaf. Bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes (depending on loaf size). Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.


  1. those look so good.. I miss it.

    1. I know. And I have no idea of an alternative recipe for you. I'd be happy to share it here if you are able to craft one though.

  2. Looks good! I wish I could bake bread, but I just don't seem to have the knack. You know your bread is bad when the first time you make prosphora, the priest feels obliged to explain to the parish that it was your first attempt at prosphora baking. It only got marginally better over the years until I finally gave up. Happy Feast Day!

    1. I guess I shouldn't have laughed. :) Joyous Feast!

    2. Laughing is ok, though at the time I wanted to crawl under the rug and hide :-)


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