20.9.13

Dark Mother Bread with Honey

The dark aspect of the Triple Goddess (the Crone aspect) is celebrated at Mabon i.e. the autumn equinox (September 21). Mabon marks the beginning of autumn; the time of year when the leaves fall from the trees and when the temperature starts to drop. This may seem like a very dark time of the year to many people, but it is also a merry time because Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals (the first being Lughnasadh and Samhain the third). August was the time for gathering corn, but September brings with it an abundance of fruit, nuts and vegetables...and all of them have to be eaten! :D

The reason why this bread is called "Dark Mother bread" is because it is dedicated do the Goddess in her Crone aspect (i.e. her dark aspect). In order for the bread to be true to the name, it is made partly from whole wheat flour which is a bit darker than the usual flour you would use. The recipe is quite simple...try it out yourself. ;)

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbs (tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 (a third) cup honey (I put 5 tablespoons since it's about the same)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (teaspoon) salt
  • 1/4 (a quarter) cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose baking flour

How to Prepare:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water so that there are no clumps and then add the honey (it's a replacement for sugar which is usually added in order for the yeast to rise). 
  2. Add whole wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil and butter and mix until the dough is compact (I used a whisk up to this point, but after the third cup of flour, I continued kneading it with my hands).
  3. Add the all-purpose flour cup by cup and knead it in with your hands (I added 4 and a half cups of this flour because the dough was still a bit too sticky).
  4. Lightly flour a kitchen surface and continue kneading the dough there for about 5-10 minutes. The dough will be become elastic and will remain slightly sticky. Flour the surface several time if needed so the dough doesn't stick to it (though it will stick to your hands...that's ok). 
  5. Oil up and flour a bowl. When the flour is ready, roll it up into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover it with a cloth and leave in a warm spot to rise until it has doubled in size (about 45 minutes). 
  6. Punch the dough down and cut it in half in order to make two smaller loaves of bread (though one big one is fine too). Form the loaves to your liking and place them in a pan on which you previously laid out some baking paper (if you don't have any, then simply grease and flour the pan). Cover the dough once more and let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven up to 200°C (my oven is a bit stronger so I put it up to 175°C).
  8. If you want to decorate the bread with a knife by cutting in shapes and things, then do it now (after the 15 minutes you left it to rise).
  9. Bake the bread for about half an hour (though you can be sure it's done when it has turned golden-brown at the top).
  10. You can brush some melted butter over the top of the hot loaves to add a golden glaze to them.
  11. Leave the bread to cool down 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.

I recommend you eat the bread with a bit of butter while it's still warm...although I'm sure you know that any bread is best when served like this. :D

Happy Mabon to you all and bon appétit! :D Yours,
Witch's Cat

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