Lammas the celebration of the beginning of the Harvest. The day of the sacrifice of the God of Grain. What a better way to celebrate this sacrifice than by baking a fresh loaf of bread at home?
Grain is the heart of Lammas, and the beginning of the harvest season is a milestone in many societies. Once the grain is threshed and milled it is baked into bread and consumed, honoring the spirit of the grain god. This ritual celebrates both the harvest and the sacrifices we make each year, as well as the sacrifice of the grain god.
This easy Yeast Bread Recipe never disappointed me! It will make two beautiful, fluffy loaves of bread.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups warm water not over 110°F
5 1/2 to 6 cups All-Purpose Flour
some flour for dusting
In a large bowl mix together the yeast, sugar, salt and water. Let this stand until the yeast is dissolved. Start adding the flour, one cup at a time to the liquid. Mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.
Take your time, don't give up. Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Keep kneading while sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking. Let the dough rest while you scrape out and grease the mixing bowl with a few drops of olive oil Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.
Let It Rise: Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel and keep warm until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Shape it: Punch down the dough with your fist and briefly knead out any air bubbles. Cut the dough in half and shape into two Italian- or French-style loaves. Place the loaves on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with flour. Let the loaves rest for 5 minutes.
For a lighter, crustier bread, let your shaped loaves rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven and roasting pan with water to 500°F for 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with cold water, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
If you don't have a baking stone, you are welcome to try using a flat cookie sheet. Please note your bread will not have as nice of a crisp crust.
Share your loaf with your loved ones and give your thanks to the gods of Grain and Harvest. It's a great time for reflection on the circle of life and death, spells to bring abundance and wealth. It's a start of preparation to say our good bye to Summer. Remember to enjoy the bright Sun and all the fruits of harvest.