Lughnasadh Recipe: Cinnamon Braid Bread [x]

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 15 g fresh yeast (1 envelope active dry yeast)
  • 1/8 cup (30 g) melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk

Filling

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) softened butter
  • 4 or 5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp grounded almonds or macadamias, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl stir yeast with sugar. Stir in the milk and then add the egg yolk and melted butter.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and start kneading it until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Give the dough the shape of a ball. Sprinkle oil onto a clean bowl, place the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature until doubled in size.
  3. While the dough rises, whisk together the butter with sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. On a floured surface, using a rolling pin roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18x12 inches.
  6. Spoon the cinnamon filling over top (keep about 1 tbsp of the filling for the end), spreading evenly, leaving a clean 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the nuts over the cinnamon filling.
  7. Roll up the dough and using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise stopping 1/2 inch from one end to keep it together.
  8. Twist the two pieces, keeping the open layers exposed so the cut ends remain on top..Pinch the ends together and form a wreath.
  9. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the wreath with the left cinnamon filling.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. For the last 10 minutes you can reduce the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).

Lammas is here! Lammas is a Pagan Sabbat (holiday) It is a celebration of the start of Autumn, right now you will notice that leaves on trees are starting to change colour and fall off. Days will begin to shorten and the warm summer sun will begin to fade. This is also the start of harvest. In farming the fields will be golden with crops of corn and wheat and fruit will be ripe for picking. Plants will begin to wither and drop seeds that will be reborn in the Spring. The earth is going through a transition where darkness is beginning to take over light. Death is taking over life and cold is taking over warmth. 

Lammas is also called Lughnasadh (pronounced loo’nass’ah), because it is the celebration of the Celtic Sun God Lugh. He is a God of harvest and crops. This is also a celebration of the Goddess who after laying with the God at Beltane is now in her Mother Aspect and has given birth to the bounty we see. Lughnasadh is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature, it was celebrated by lighting a Lughfire, a large bonfire where all the villagers would create a big feast and sit around the fire and give thanks for the harvest. Bread should be baked today and shared with friends and family to bring luck for the year ahead. The word Lammas actually means ‘Loaf Mas’ You should also make an offering of freshly baked bread to the God and Goddess.

Lughnasadh is a time of personal reflection and harvest, of our actions and deeds, events and experiences, our gains and losses. A time when we begin the cycle of reflection of that which is our life. A period for personal fertility magic to ensure the bountiful harvest of life’s gifts and experiences, that which we have reaped though trial, tribulation, enjoyment, joy, love and loss.

On our alter we should put harvest grains and ripe fruit to honour the season and as an offering to the Gods. Also add fresh bread any fallen leaves and nuts are also traditional. 

Lammas is a time of excitement and magic. The natural world is thriving around us, and yet the knowledge that everything will soon die looms in the background. This is a good time to work some magic around the hearth and home. It is a good time to rid yourself of all that is old to allow in the new. 

Lughnasadh

For the sunset on July 31st to the sunset on August 2nd, the first corn harvest, a festival of willing sacrifice, arbitration, contracts and justice.

Animal Stag

Tree Alder

Herbs and incense Cedarwood, cinnamon, fenugreek, ginger, heather, myrtle and sunflower.

Candle colour Golden browns or dark yellows

Crystals Tiger’s eye, fossilised woods, amber, rutilated quartz, or dark yellow and brown stones,

Symbols Use a straw object as your focus, such as a corn dolly, a corn knot or a straw hat, perhaps decorate with poppies or cornflowers, or a container of mixed cereals.

Lughnasadh rituals focus on justice, rights, partnerships (both personal and legal), promotions and career advancements, and the regularising of personal finances. With corn and corn dollies a feature of the time, fertility is also favoured.

Personal Activities 

  • Use corn or dried grasses to create corn knots and Corn Mother figures (a featureless head, arms, body and legs) tied with red and blue threads; hang them in the home through the winter to bring protection, and them on the fist Monday after the Twelfth Night or on the Spring Equinox fires.
  • If you make a Corn King (also known as John Barleycorn), you can burn him at Lughnasadh; scatter the ashes in your garden or on indoor plants to bring abundance to the home during the winter.
  • Make bread with mind on Lunghasadh Eve, a tradition that become associated with the Virgin Mary. As you stir the mix in turn with friend and family, make wishes for abundance and the harvest you wish to reap during the coming months. At dawn crumble the bread to share with friends and family, and leave offerings of crumbs for the wild birds.
  • If you feel you have been unjustly treated and cannot put matters right, knot dried grasses, one for each injustice, and cast them on the waters or bury, planting late-flowering seeds or autumn flowers.
  • Arrange journeys to see, or write to and telephone, friends and relations, making plans to meet, as this is a time tribes get together before the long winters. 

Source The Modern-Day Druidess by Cassandra Eason

It is only 3 days until Lammas on August 1st. Lammas is the first day of Autumn, you will begin to notice the leaves slightly changing colour around this time and dropping off trees. Lammas is also the first day of the harvest, when the fields are glowing with corn and wheat and the reaping would begin. The harvest period will continue until Samhain when the last stores for the winter months would be put away. 

The word Lammas actually means Loaf Mas to celebrate the harvest it is traditional to cook and eat bread on this day. Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh as it celebrates the Celtic Sun God Lugh. Lammas is also the Thanksgiving Holiday, when each person give thanks for the things and blessings in their lives.

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