The little church near us dedicated to St John had its annual service at the end of September. Which St John it is we still haven't found out. St John of the Fleas, St John of the Splitpea (Fava), St John the Baptist. Every area has its own name for the saint as they do for the Virgin Mary, each name commemorating a local happening.
Wednesday, 7 October 2020
The tiny local chapel, surrounded by cypress trees.
Because it is local I made a loaf of Holy Bread and 5 sweet loaves, representing the 5 loaves and fishes which fed the 5,000, to take with us to the service.
This is the Holy Bread with the stamp which is pushed into it. The bread is called 'Prosfora' meaning 'that which is offered'. The centre of the stamp has the engraved letters IC,XC NIKA which stands for Jesus Christ conquers.
The bread is just the usual flour, yeast and water and is divided into 2 pieces. One is placed on top of the other and then it is baked. My bread turned out really well.
However the 5 loaves were a different story. These are a sweet bread with red wine, orange juice and flavourings of mastiha and mahlepi. I have made the bread before with great success. This time the two loaves above turned out as they should and I glazed them with a sugar solution. The other 3 stuck to the pan and had to be cut out ending up with great craters where half the loaf had refused to budge.
I didn't take these to the church but gave them out to friends and family. They all tasted fine so they weren't a complete failure.
Lesson for the day - always use baking paper when baking sweet bread.