WILLO'S LAMMAS BREAD
This one starts four days ahead.
I put barley (white) wheat (red) and rye (black) grains into small bowls on my altar along with my chalice. I make a list of things I've received in the last year that I'm grateful for, and wish to see multiply in the next year.
I take a pinch of each of the three grains, offering my thanks to maiden, mother, and crone...and stating my willingness to see the blessing multiply in the next year...
for three days, I let them sprout by pouring water over them and draining them, day and night. On the day before Lammas, I put the chalice in the sun so the sprouts will go green....no this isn't mold but chlorophyll...we are talking live plants, here.
Then on Lammas, I make my bread...
add 1/2 cup oat meal
and 1/2 cup corn meal
to 2 cups cold water
and 1 tsp salt.
Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes to make a porridge.
Add 2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup of either molasses (to make a dark bread) or honey (to make a light bread)
Set aside to cool.
Dissolve 1 tsp sugar
in 1/2 cup lukewarm (100F) water
sprinkle 1 tbsp dry yeast over top.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
When yeast is a fluffy layer on top of the water, stir briskly with a fork to mix. Add to lukewarm porridge mixture, and
stir in 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
Beat vigorously for five minutes. This mixing allows gluten formation, which gives the bread a springy texture. Add the sprouts.
Add another 2 1/2 cups flour.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and kneed 9 minutes. Add up to another cup of flour if the dough gets sticky. Sing appropriate chants or carols while kneading, and meditate on your gratitude for the year's harvest.
Shape into a smooth ball and place in a buttered bowl. Rotate dough in bowl to grease surface. Cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise until dough is doubled in volume (1 1/2 to 2 hours)
Punch dough down and divide into five equal parts. Form each into a flat round loaf, place loaves on cookie sheets, and brush with melted butter. If desired, you can cut magical symbols into the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife.
Allow to rise under the damp tea towel for another 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Bread will sound hollow when tapped when cooked. Brush top with melted butter and place on cake racks to cool.
As you eat this bread, meditate on the gifts you've received...and on taking in and assimilating the blessings you've put into the grains...share them with others if you wish... : )