Lammas A Feast Of Bread  

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Lammas A Feast Of Bread Image
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas -- it meant that the previous year's harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.

The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase"-"which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Bread is the ultimate symbol of the Lammas season. After all, once the grain is harvested, it is milled and baked into bread, which is then consumed. It is the cycle of the harvest come full circle. The spirit of the grain god lives on through us in the eating of the bread. In many traditions, a loaf of special bread is baked in the shape of a man, to symbolize the god of the harvest.

You can easily make a loaf of Lammas bread by using a pre-made loaf of bread dough, found in the frozen food section in your grocery store. Certainly, you can make your own dough, but if you're not much of a baker, this is an easy alternative.

If you'd like to make your own, here's a recipe:


* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 cups bread flour, plus more if needed
* 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
* 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
* 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 2 cups milk, scalded
* 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
* 3 tablespoons honey


Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the peanut butter and the honey to the hot milk and stir to combine. Cool milk mix until it reaches 115oF. Stir milk mix into flour mix.

Knead for 15 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Oil the dough's surface, then cover with plastic or a damp towel.

Let it rise in a warm spot until double. Punch down, then shape into 2 rectangle loaves, one large wreath, or "man" shape.

Let rise again until doubled. Bake at 375oF until golden; it should make a hollow sound when tapped. Yield: 1 large or 2 regular-sized loaves

Source: The Fairy Party Book

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This entry was posted on 28 May 2008 at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .