Celebrate new year with Greek bread

Vasilopita is a Greek bread with a sweet taste. It is a Greek tradition to bake a coin into the bread and to celebrate the new year.

A new year is right around the corner. If any year needs a fresh new start, it’s this one.

In searching for New Year’s recipes, I found a Greek recipe to try.

Vasilopita is a Greek New Year’s Bread. According to the recipe, it was made as an act of charity by St. Basil to give to the poor and needy in his flock.

St. Basil is said to have asked the ladies in his church to bake this sweet bread with coins inside so he could give people money without it being demeaning for them.

Now, it is a tradition to bake a coin into the Vasilopita bread and the one who receives the coin is supposed to be blessed in the new year.

I have a love-hate relationship with bread. I love to eat it, but hate to make it.

Somehow, the bread I make never turns out quite right. Sometimes I think it must be the temperature in my house that doesn’t let it rise properly.

But I keep trying. And since the new year is around the corner, it’s time to try new things.

Everything started great. The bread rose nicely and was at a nice size for baking.

The recipe said to put the dough in a springform pan. But it doesn’t say what size. As the dough rose, I had a sneaky feeling the pan was going to be too small.

And it was, as the bread baked it rose over the top of the pan and when it was finished, it kind of looked like a mushroom.

But the top of that mushroom baked a glossy golden brown.

The almonds on top that were supposed to spell out 2021 slid to the sides of the bread as spilled over the edge. Regardless, the top of the bread still looked lovely when it was finished baking, even if it did resemble a mushroom.

The cinnamon and nutmeg gave the bread a sweet taste.

In the end, I wouldn’t consider this bread a massive failure like most of my attempts. It had a nice shade when it baked and it tasted good. That counts as a win in my book and in 2020, every one needs a win.

If I had served it to others, I could have just pretended it was supposed to look like a mushroom all along.

Whatever you make to ring in the new year, enjoy it. Hopefully, 2021 will be an improvement on 2020.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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