Kollyva (a.k.a., Kolyva, Koliva)
Start preparation of Kollyva two days in advance and assemble the day of the service.
1 cup hard red winter wheat berries (Whole Foods bulk section is a good place to get these)
1/8 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup white raisins
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. cumin
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup finely ground zwieback toast*
seeds of ½ a pomegranate
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup pine nuts
* Zwieback toast can be very difficult to find. It is only used as a layer to shield the wheat berry mixture from the powdered sugar. A fine alternative is a layer of pinenuts.
Decoration: slivered almonds, white candied almonds (Jordan almonds or Koufeta), large silver dragees (silver koufeta). Also pre-made Crosses & Initials are available at Logos Bookstore.
Cover the wheat with water and soak overnight.
Drain and rinse. Cover with 1 quart water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered several hours, keeping the wheat covered with water and stirring occasionally, until wheat becomes puffy and tender. (Cooking time varies with time of soaking.) Drain in a colander, rinse, and drain again. Spread the wheat out on a smooth dish towel to dry overnight. (If desired, burn a kandili/ vigil lamp beside the wheat as it dries.)
Prepare all other ingredients but do not assemble until the day of the service to prevent mush like texture.
On the day of the service light a censer and kandili/vigil lamp while making the kollyva (if there are two people, have one read prayers while the other prepares. If one person, I put on a CD of liturgical music.
Combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar, zwieback crumbs, and decorations. There are two ways to “present” your kollyva: on a tray or in a bowl. If a tray, cover tray with wax paper. Put combined mixture on tray and mold into a heaping mound toward the center, pressing it smooth. If a bowl, pour combined mixture into a bowl. Press it smooth on the top. Spread crumbs evenly over the top, making sure the wheat is thoroughly covered, and press down. (This layer keeps the wheat mixture from bleeding through to the top layer of powdered sugar.)
Sift powdered sugar over the mound or bowl and press smooth with wax paper. Make a cross in the center with the koufeta or silver dragees. For a memorial service (commemorating one person), use slivered almonds to form the initial of the first name of the deceased on the left side of the cross and the initial of the last name on the right. For a Saturday of Souls service, do not put initials of the deceased since kollyva for Saturday of Souls is generally made for more than one person.
Makes 5 round loaves, 9 x 2 inches each.
4 orange rinds (peel four large oranges)
4 cups warm water
3 Tbsp. anise seed
3 cups warm milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
18-20 cups unbleached white flour
6 Tbsp. yeast
2 cups and 4 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cups butter, softened
8 eggs lightly beaten
2 tsp. salt
3 oz. ouzo
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
5 round pans approximately 9 x 2 in.
Put orange rind, water, and anise in an electric blender and blend for 1 minute. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
Combine the milk and oil in a saucepan. Heat over low heat to bring to lukewarm. Add to the orange mixture in the bowl.
Add 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and 4 Tbsp. of the sugar to the orange mixture and mix with a wire whisk or a spoon. Cover the bowl and put in a warm, draft free place for 20 minutes (this mixture will rise).
In another bowl, combine the butter, eggs, sugar, and salt with a wire whisk.
When the orange mixture is ready (20 minutes), add the butter mixture to it.
Oil your hands to prevent the dough from sticking and slowly add the rest of the flour (16-18 cups). Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and silky. Place the dough in a warm, draft free place. Cover and let rise to double its size, approximately 20 minutes.
While the dough is left to rise, line the bottom of each pan (5 pans) with wax paper.
Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 5 equal portions. Work each portion into a smooth round ball and place in the baking pan, pressing it down with the back of your fingers to fill the pan. Continue with the rest of the loaves. Cover and put in a warm, draft free place and let rise to double its size, approximately 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place the loaves on the middle rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. They should feel light and hollow when tapped with your hand.
Combine the powdered sugar with cinnamon in a bowl. Remove the loaves from the pan and spray the tops with ouzo. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture to cover the top completely. Cool loaves on a wire rack.
Adapted from Papas’ Art of Traditional Greek Cooking.
Note: Prosforo (Singular)/Prosfora (Plural). Can also be spelled prosphoro / prosphora.
Related article: The Privilege of Baking Prosphora
1 teaspoon Salt
2 ¼ teaspoon Yeast
2 ¾ cups warm Water (divided)
7 cups Bread Flour (half wheat/half all-purpose)
2 – 9″ round pans (with at least a 2 inch rim to ensure that the bread is at least 3-4 inches high after baking)
- Dissolve yeast in glass bowl, using ¾ cup warm Water (do not stir), for 10 minutes
- While dissolving, pray the following prayers:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen O God, be merciful to me a sinner. O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayer of Thy most pure Mother, our holy and God-bearing fathers and of all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.
Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee. O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good thing and Giver of life: Come and abide in us, and cleanse us of all impurities, and save our souls, O Good One. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have Mercy on us. (x3) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, blot out our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake. Lord, have Mercy (x3) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hollowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’ and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son of Thine unoriginate Father, Thou hast said with Thy most pure lips: For without Me, ye can do nothing. My Lord, O Lord, in faith having embraced Thy words, I fall down before Thy goodness; help me, a sinner, to complete through Thee Thyself this work which I am about to begin, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
- Cut Parchment Paper to fit pans or lightly flour bottom
- Mix 7 cups Flour and 1 teaspoon Salt together in large glass bowl. Make a “well” in flour mixture for yeast and 2 cups warm Water. Mix thoroughly.
- Knead till dough is not sticky adding small amounts of additional flour if necessary (about 10 minutes)
- Cut dough in half Knead each half again (about 15 minutes each) till dough begins to feel “silky” Shape dough into disks to fit pan (not allowing them to touch sides)
- Dip Seal into flour & shake slightly. Make sign of the Cross with Seal (x3). Press seal FIRMLY into dough. Remove seal slowly. Toothpick dough at joints & several times around side of bread
- Cover with double towels, and let rise (about 30 minutes)
- Toothpick again in same spots before baking. Bake @ 350 degrees (about 45 minutes) until a golden brown.
- Check after 10 minutes – poking holes along sides where the prosphoro starts to separate around the edges.
- Remove from Oven – Let cool completely.
- Pray the following prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen Thou art the fullness of all good things, O my Christ; fill my soul with joy and gladness, and save me, for Thou alone art plenteous in mercy. Amen.
Family Prayer: Dear Lord, this bread that we have baked represents each one of us in this family and in our congregation. We are offering ourselves to You, our very life, in humble obedience and total commitment to You. We place ourselves on Your holy altar through this bread to be used by You in any way that You feel will help enlarge Your kingdom. Accept our gift and make us worthy to receive the greater gifts that You will give us when You consecrate this bread and give it back to us as Your Precious Body. Amen.
Red Eggs for Pascha
I love dyeing my Paschal eggs! Here are my directions for deep, beautiful red Paschal eggs.
- I start with Trader Joe (Wilcox) large, brown eggs. I switch out any blemished eggs with other cartons until I have 3 dozen, unblemished brown eggs. Buy as many as you like!
- Buy the egg dye from our bookstore. In 2010, each packet only made a quart of water, but you need enough packets for 4 quarts of water, so look at the directions to make sure you purchase enough dye. Dye brands change from year to year. You can ‘share’ this pot of water with others if you wish to make this a shared activity : ~ )
- Set out your eggs the morning you plan to dye them, or run them under warm water for 10-15 minutes, so they are less likely to crack (very important)
- Set out the following items :
- large, deep pot (I use stainless steel)
- white vinegar
- dye packets
- pair of plastic gloves
- large, slotted metal spoon
- dinner bowl or two
- your room temperature eggs
- a blow dryer (optional)
- Pour 1/2 the recommended amount of water into the pot (that is all you will use). I use 2 quarts of water. One to two packets will normally suffice, but this year you needed 4 packets for rich color.
- Turn the heat on high, and stir until the dye is dissolved.
- When the dye is dissolved, add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar per packet used.
- When the water comes to a boil, turn it down to low. With the slotted spoon, gently place your eggs, side by side into the pan (one layer only).
- Let them boil gently for 25 minutes (set the timer). The lowest setting works for my stove. Gently stir the water on top of the eggs now and then to make sure dye doesn’t settle unevenly on them. Use a bowl to place your utensil on, as this is potent dye and will stain your counters!
- When the timer goes off, set your pan on newspaper or protective surface on your counter, with a dinner bowl near by. Put on your plastic gloves. With the slotted spoon, scoop out one or two eggs and suspend them over a dinner bowl. Blow dry them (or blow on them) until dry. (Keep the blow dryer away from the pot!! We want you at the Midnight Service!!)They will dry VERY quickly. Place them in the bowl, and turn them over using your gloved hands, and dry the bottom of the eggs. When they are dry, place them back in the egg carton. Continue until all the eggs are dry. I do not oil them.
- Set your dye back on the stove and heat again until boiling. STIR again. Repeat the above steps, making sure to stir gently once or twice to dye the eggs evenly.
- When finished, leave the eggs out, carton open, until cool (refrigeration affects the look of the eggs.) I dye my eggs on Holy Saturday. I was told they can be left out for up to three days.
- Also, Paraskevi said if you let your dyed water cool, you can place it in a glass jar and re-use it for Ascension. Neat, huh?!
Submitted by Presvytera Aspasia
See this Pinterest board for more inspiration!