16 April 2014

Jidáše for Spy Wednesday

I know, I know. I said that I wouldn't add anything else to this year's list of things to make and do for Holy Week and Easter, that I'd keep things simple and manageable and strive for peace over doing all the things.

But it's Spy Wednesday. We can't just not do anything! So this crazy lady is making Jidáše, Judas rolls, to go with supper tonight.

What is Spy Wednesday? Well, it's not an official or liturgical term, but today, the day before Holy Thursday, is traditionally held to be the day that Judas Iscariot met with the chief priests and arranged to hand Christ over for 30 pieces of silver; we hear this story in today's Gospel reading (Mt 26: 14-25). Emphasizing Judas' duplicity, today's Gospel concludes with Judas' query, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" as the disciples discuss the revelation that the betrayer sits among them, and Christ's response of "You have said so." As Matthew records it, Judas is the only one whom Christ answers individually; was He offering Judas one more opportunity to change his mind and act according to his professed wish not to be the betrayer? I wonder.

But Judas didn't repent before handing Christ over, and when he did finally realize what he'd done, he fell into despair and hanged himself. 

Eastern European Christians serve Jidáše (yi-dah-shey), rolls twisted in the shape of a rope like the one Judas hanged himself with, either today or tomorrow. Here is the recipe I'm using, adapted from Catholic Cuisine:

1 cup milk
2 1/4 Tablespooons yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk beaten with a little water for an egg wash
Honey thinned with water for a glaze

Warm the milk; add yeast and sugar and allow to proof. In mixing bowl blend butter, egg and honey. Add flour and milk mixture, then lemon juice and salt. Cover and let rise one hour. Roll dough into ropes and shape in knots or nooses. Arrange on greased baking sheet and let rise while oven preheats to 375 F. Brush with egg wash and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Glaze with thinned honey while still hot.

Update: Matt says the nooses almost look more like money bags, which is even more appropriate to today's Gospel! So there's an alternate explanation to give your kids, if you'd rather not have hangman's-nooses at the dinner table. :-)


  1. Very interesting! A recipe to write down with an story to tell over the dinner table.. thank you! Wishing you a blessed Holy Week!

    1. I'm glad you liked it! There are so many interesting little traditions scattered through Catholic history, and I love finding and sharing new ones.