Monday, August 10, 2015


Setting up an altar to celebrate a Pagan holiday through a ritual, is a common practice among pagans.  This year for Lugnasdah I did not do a formal ritual. Instead, I decided to "craft" Lugnasdah as a way of honoring the holiday. I decided to try my hand at baking a plaited bread from scratch. The process was slow, relaxing and quite satisfying. To begin, I did have the help of my Kitchen Aid mixer with the initial kneading of the bread.
It was the fist time I had used the dough hook in all the years I've had my mixer! I'm glad I decided to use the mixer because the recipe I was using did not, as it turns out, call for enough water for the dough, which is why it was not coming together as the recipe had described. With the help of the booklet that comes with the mixer, I was able to figure out the right water/flour combination to make the dough nice and elastic. On the second go around with the dough, it was time for kneading by hand which went quite smoothly, due in part to the granite surface I was working on. Plaiting the bread was a bit trickier but it didn't turn out too bad considering it was the first time I have attempted such a thing. The bread rose well and the loaf turned out to be crunchy on the outside and surprisingly light on the inside.
I ate a piece just minutes after the cool down with lots of melty butter. It was yummy!
While the bread was in different stages of being made, I started knitting a cotton washcloth with a grain pattern. I used two different colors in making the cloth in order to be a bit more imaginative with the design. By the end of the day I was finished with the cloth and we had polished off a third of the huge loaf of bread, making the day a nice observance of  the first harvest.


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