Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle

Breaking Bread

by Tina Whittle

In addition to the usual holidays celebrated in the US, my family and I celebrate the Wheel of the Year. This calendar combines ancient feasts and holy days from the Anglo-Saxons and other Indo-European cultures and follows the agricultural cycle from the first plantings in the spring, through the various harvests in the summer, to the fallow time of late autumn and winter.

Today I am celebrating Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, or “Loaf Mass.” This festival occurs during the annual wheat and grain harvest (usually on August 1st or 2nd). On this day, it was customary to bake bread, not only for your family, but for your community—one tradition involved bringing a loaf to church so that everyone could partake of the gifts from the fields.

The idea of community has always involved bread—the word “companion,” for example, is derived from the late Latin “com panis,” or “bread with.” So in honor of whatever harvest you will be bringing in, I’m sharing the recipe I’ll be using to bake this year’s Lammas Loaf. It includes both wheat flour and honey, plus that other beloved grain product—beer.

May you have much to be grateful for this harvest season.

Lammas Loaf

Preheat oven to 350°

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar

Combine and add:
1/4 cup honey
1 bottle honey wheat beer (12 oz at room temp)

Pour into a well-greased 9X5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done. Top with honey and melted butter if desired.

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  1. Sounds delicious. I used to make a beer bread in ages past and the aroma while it baked was mouthwatering. Not doing as much baking these days in the gluten-free, dairy-free lane, but I shall celebrate Lammas with you in spirit. Hear, hear!

  2. I like any tradition that celebrates with food. I am not a baker, though. Kudos to you for making bread.

    • tinawhittle says

      This is easy bread luckily. My mother and daughter are the real bakers in the family, though.

  3. I love this – I just wish it wasn’t 127 degrees so I’d feel better about firing up the oven 😛 (although I suppose I could just bake it in my car…)

    • tinawhittle says

      Ha! I have one hour a week reserved for turning on the oven. Most weeks. When it’s raining and dark and less than ninety degrees. But you know, pancakes are also Lammas-approved and good for sharing. 🙂

  4. Looks yummy, Tina! I’ll have to give it a try.

  5. Allyson A. says

    I love the idea of sharing with the community. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea. Not sure how to adapt the recipe for baking at 9100 feet, but it seems worth a try.

    • tinawhittle says

      Since I live virtually at sea level, I can’t help you with baking way up in the sky. But let us know how it goes! And thank you for being in my circle!