Mabon - the Autumn Equinox. A time of shortening days and cooling temperatures. Of changing seasons and harvest. At this time we celebrate the second harvest and give thanks for the things we have, whether it be an abundant harvest or many blessings. We may also honour the Dark Mother, that aspect of the Goddess, as she passes from Mother to Crone, and the God, her consort, as he prepares for death and rebirth.
Harvest and Autumn! That conjures up thoughts of soups, stews and homemade bread. Thanksgiving just around the corner (if you're Canadian) with it's turkey and stuffing, baked ham, and apple and pumpkin pies. And as we go into the cooler temperatures we want to enjoy those comfort foods that not only warm the body but also the spirit.
I had a few ideas roaming around in my mind when I was putting this together. What to do, what to do. It is kind of hard coming up with a soul warming dish when the temperature outside is pushing 30C and feels like 41 (for my American friends that's 91F and 105F respectively). However, whatever the temperature we always need bread. So Voila! A lovely, flavourful Multigrain Bread!
Lets take a look at some of the ingredients one might find in a multigrain bread.
Barley - Magickal properties include money, prosperity, fertility, sex, offering, potency.
Buckwheat - Magickal properties are money, prosperity, employment, abundance.
Oats - Magickal properties include money, prosperity (hey, I think we have a theme here), beauty, healing (skin, heart), health tonic.
Wheat - Magickal properties are money, prosperity (dingding, we have a winner), abundance, fertility, conception, rebirth, renewal.
There you have it. All the makings for Prosperity Multigrain Bread. You can give it an added boost by including those herbs that will enhance the prosperity properties of your bread, a couple of teaspoon of sage, oregano or basil, or a combination of the three, whatever your taste. Just remember, as you mix and knead the dough, make sure to add your energy and intent for prosperity and abundance.
Prosperity Multigrain Bread
1 1/4 cup seven or nine-grain hot cereal mix
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 - 3 teaspoons sage, oregano, basil (optional)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Place cereal mix in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours together in separate bowl.
Once grain mixture has cooled, mix in the honey, butter, salt and yeast (and herbs if using) and stir until combined. Stir in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until a stiff, shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead adding remaining flour 2 or 3 tablespoons at a time until a smooth dough forms (don't worry if you don't use all the flour), slightly tacky but not sticky. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half. Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Repeat with second piece of dough. Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable il spray. Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.
Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until loaves register 200 degrees, 35-40 minutes.
Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
The mixing and kneading can be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook as well. Just be careful you don't over-flour your bread.
You can store bread wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap (or baggie) for up to 3 days, or additionally wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
Or you can do with I did - slice warm and slather with butter. Yum!