These lark buns are traditionally baked in Russia each year to celebrate the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. There are forty buns to celebrate each of the forty martyrs. The larks are the first bird to arrive in Russia each spring, and the feast day of the Forty Martyrs falls during Lent, so the buns also celebrate the arrival of spring.
Recipe (serves 40):
- 6 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks margarine
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 package dry yeast
- orange zest, to taste
- raisins, for eyes
Mix the warm water, yeast, sugar, and enough of the flour so that you have a batter about as thick as sour cream. Let the batter sit until it has risen slightly and is bubbly.
Add the rest of the flour, the margarine and the orange zest (if using). Knead well (about ten minutes). Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size.
Using a knife or pastry cutter, divide the dough into 40 pieces. Roll each piece into a long hot dog shape. Tie each piece into a knot. Make one end into the shape of a head for the bird by pinching a beak. The other end will be the tail feathers… with a knife create that look. Put a raisin on each bird for the eye.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees.
Looks like a great recipe for anybody who has a big crowd!
These are the cutest things ever!! I love them. This would be really cool to make for our Easter Brunch or something like that.
Wow! I've never heard of these before. What a neat bit of history to know about and taste…truly escorting what the martyrs sacrificed.
These are adorable. I have never heard of them before. My kids love to bake, so we may try it. I love things with a meaning behind them!
Oh my word! I love birds and the story was very interesting! I may have to try to make these, but I'm terrified of baking with yeast. Maybe, hubs will make them for me 🙂
These are adorable and they look delicious!! And such a neat tradition too!
Cute! Great idea. Thanks for sharing. But margarine? Never!
Thank you very much for sharing this recipe and story! The birds are so cute! I will try to make them.