Orthodox sacramental bread


Saint Day season started on the 27th October for those of us who follow the old Julian calender, and this is my own testament to a baking tradition that has run in my culture for decades.
For some people it's about tradition, for some it is a religious matter, but all the same, the family Saint Day amongst Orthodox Christians is rarely celebrated without a sacramental bread. It symbolically represents the Christ as a bread of life and it usually has a stamp ( upper right corner) bearing letters IS HS NI KA, meaning Jesus triumphs.
It is usually covered in religious ornaments, as this one, only I just put a fraction of the usual amount of decoration. Sometimes, when the bakers imagination takes over, ornaments are everything you can see at the top.
 There is a very old way of making this bread with hot water, but I doubt that anyone does it nowadays. The kind of bread you make is very pretty much down to you, or depends on a geographical region. I like to use  my Brioche dough . Divide the dough into four equal parts and arrange them in a baking tin like on the picture below:

For the decoration, you need a simple dough made of flour and water and your imagination. It does not have to be religious bread, I am thinking of a bunch of roses all over it!

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