Bread of Life

Easter Babka
Easter Babka

I have a tradition of baking Polish Easter bread (babka) for Easter Sunday that I share with family and neighbors. This custom is carried on throughout Ukraine, Poland and Belorussia to celebrate the rising of Christ. My grandparents came from Lithuania and Poland so this tradition has been passed down in my family.

Wikipedia states that “In many European countries, there are various traditions surrounding the use of bread during the Easter holiday. Traditionally the practice of eating Easter bread or sweetened “communion” bread traces its origin back to Byzantium and the Orthodox Christian church. The recipe for sweetened or “honey-leavened” bread may date back as far as the Homeric Greek period based on anecdotal evidence from classical texts that mention this type of special food. It is also widely known that sweetened bread desserts similar to panettone, were a Roman favorite.”

Christians have a long history of using bread to represent Jesus/God; Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:32-35, New Revised Standard Version)

Theological implications aside, it is a delicious tradition.