Lammas Loaf Recipe
- 1/2 cup warm water (boiling water with enough cold water added to be hand hot)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 2 cups porridge oats
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3-4 cups of strong wholemeal flour
First, wake up the yeast: place the warm water in a medium sized bowl, add the sugar, sprinkle the yeast over it, and whisk thoroughly. Stand in a warm spot until the yeast bubbles (about 5 minutes). Next, heat the milk until it just starts to bubble, and place in a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Add the honey, oil and salt. Cool the mixture to luke warm, and add two cups of the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon, add the yeast mixture, and then stir some more. Add as much of the remaining flour as you can successfully incorporate to make a soft dough. I only usually manage to add slightly more than one more cup (three in total). Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, and knead for about ten minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Chant while kneading..
Bless the earth that grows the grain;
Bless the water that gives us rain.
Bless the wind that helps seeds spread;
Bless the fire that bakes our bread.
You can also have other contribute to the kneading, each adding their own magic…When finished, place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, turning it so that it is oiled all over. Cover it with a clean tea towel, and leave it to rise in a warm spot for about an hour, by which time it will have grown substantially. Punch down the dough, divide it into three, and leave it to rest for ten minutes.
On a floured surface, roll each portion into a long sausage shape about 40cm long. Join the three strands at one end, and then plait until you reach the end, joining them at the other end as neatly as possible. Place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet, cover, and leave it for 40 minutes, by which time it will have risen quite considerably again. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C, so it will be hot at the end of the 40 minutes. Bake your loaf for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom. Remove from baking tray, and cool on a rack.
If you don’t wish to do a plaited loaf, you could instead just make one large round loaf, or multiple small loaves or rolls, as you choose.
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