Cinnamon & Sunflower Bread – Lammas Recipe
The wheel of the year turns, and as Lammas draws nearer its time to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and enjoy the remaining weeks of light and warmth. A tradition for many, is to bake bread in celebration of the first grain harvest.
This year I wanted to make a bread that symbolises the warmth and abundance of summer, infused with magickal ingredients that attract protection, luck, courage, and prosperity.
Lammas is all about abundance and giving! So this is a fairly simple tear and share recipe, be sure to leave offerings to your deities.
Warm the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then pour in the yeast, let it sit for 15 minutes to activate.
Mix the flour, sugar, butter (softened at room temperature), egg yokes and salt together in a large bowl until the mixture is crumbled in texture.
Add the yeast and milk mixture to the other ingredients until combined. Knead by hand for about 15 - 20 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic, or for 5 minutes on medium speed if you’re using a stand mixer.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic cling film or a slightly damp, warm tea towel and let the dough rise to double the size, this usually takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by mixing the sugar, cinnamon, and mixed spice together with the softened butter and mix until combined.
When the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a clean work surface, and knead for roughly one minute, then divide into four equal pieces.
To make the bottom layer of the bread, with a rolling pin, roll one of the dough pieces into a circular shape roughly 25 cm. Spread 1/3 of the softened cinnamon filling over the top, and place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Repeat with the next 2 balls of dough, layering each with the cinnamon filling. Leave the last layer plain and place on the top. If required, gently neaten the edges of the layered dough by placing a plate on top and cut away any excess dough around the plate with a sharp knife.
Place a cup in the middle of the layered dough and cut around the cup into 12 sections, then go around with the knife again and cut each of the 12 sections in half. Take 2 sections that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two times. Connect the two strands at the end by pinching the ends together and gently tuck the pointed edge underneath to create a more circular edge.
Do this with all the strands to create a flower shape.
Gently push the cup into the middle of the layered dough just enough to leave a dent on the surface to use as a guide for filling with sunflower seeds.
Brush the surface of the bread with the egg white, and put it in the middle of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes at 180°C. If the bread starts too brown to quickly place some tin foil over the top for a more even cook.
When the bread has cooled. Carefully cut a circle one layer (0.5 cm) deep in the middle of the bread, split the circle into 4 sections to allow a cleaner and easier removal of the top layer.
Fill with sunflower seeds, or a filling of your choice.
May your harvest be bountiful and every ending lead to a bright beginning!