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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