It seems that I'm falling into a routine of bread baking to welcome in the seasons this year. Hey, I can live with that. My Mabon loaves were inspired by this Dark Mother Bread. I used up the end of my first jar of the Marigold Honey that I've become so enamored with...
Mabon Marigold Honey Wheat Bread
from the kitchen of girlichef
Yield: 2 loaves
2 c. warm water
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/3 c. Marigold honey
3 c. white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. melted butter, at room temp or just barely warm
3 ½ c. bread flour + a little extra
~½ Tbs. butter, melted for brushing on top of loaf after baking (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Using a wooden spoon, add honey and mix well.
Stir in the whole wheat flour, salt, and butter. Add in the bread flour, in ~ 3 additions…you may have to work the last bit in with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, and knead for ~10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in, turning once to get a thin coat of oil all around. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, ~1 hour.
Punch down the dough, then turn out of the bowl. Cut in half, and place in two greased loaf pans. Allow to rise again until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375° F and bake for ~30-35 mins., or until golden and fragrant. Immediately after you remove from the pans (while still warm), brush the tops with some melted butter, if using. Allow to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.
Spiced Apple Butter
from the kitchen of girlichef
yield: ~1 pint
This can be made either in a pot or in the crockpot...which is what I used this time. So easy to just put everything in and let that magical pot do its thang.
~2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored & quartered
½ tsp. pure vanilla (or ½ of a vanilla bean)
1/4 c. brown sugar
big pinch ground cinnamon
good grating of nutmeg
small pinch of ground cloves
few pieces of crystallized ginger
1 whole star anise
big pinch sea salt
Place the apples and the vanilla in a crockpot (this amount fits in a small 2 qt. pot), cover and cook on low for 4½ hrs.
Lift lid and smash the apples up a bit with a fork or spoon. Add all of the seasonings. Replace lid and cook on high for another 4 hours or so...until dark and thick. Warning...your house will smell irresistible to all who pass by and get a whiff!
Remove the star anise, the blend it all up with an immersion blender or in a stand up blender (carefully...it's hot!!) to get a smooth butter. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.
Rosemary (or Thyme) Honey
Place a bunch of rosemary (or thyme) into a clean glass jar. Heat some honey until it is just warm and pourable. Pour over herbs. That's it!
|Okay, I realize that's actually a picture of the thyme honey that I labeled rosemary honey. DOH!|
Eat some at home with your family, friends and loved ones...and pack a basket to give to others in the spirit of giving...
My basket to celebrate the harvest includes Marigold Honey Wheat Bread, Spiced Apple Butter, Rosemary Honey, Witches Brew spiced red wine, a bunch of sage, some apples, a squash, some seed pods and some corn stalks turning from green to brown. The basket itself symbolizes the gathering of the crops...the herbs, apples, squash, honey, wheat, seed pods, and corn stalks symbolize the culmination of the harvest brought in this year, and the transition to cooler temperatures and putting up the crops.
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