Honor Lammas this year with a freshly baked, pesto and garlic spiral bread.
No Lammas custom is more traditional than a hand-kneaded loaf of bread at the center of the hearth and home.
Every year, I try a new recipe to challenge my kitchen witch skills.
This one incorporates fresh, late-summer herbs from the garden, farm-raised eggs and rich, hand-whipped butter for a flaky, moist, pull-apart style bread.
Its double spiral shape symbolizes the universal cosmic life force and the inward journey of the spirit.
What’s the difference between a mundane cooking session and the magical art of the kitchen witch? Staying mindful of the meaning of the ingredients and the symbolic nature of the process elevates any culinary experiment to a mystical experience.
(By the way, shout out to Half Baked Harvest for inspiring this loaf with her crafty Swirl Bread).
This bread is twisted into a double spiral shape.
One of the oldest and most universal symbols in indigenous art, the spiral appears in European Neolithic sacred sites (such as the Megalithic Temples of Malta), as well as in the pre-Colombian indigenous art of Central America.
In modern witchcraft, the double spiral symbolizes the duality of male and female and the inflowing journey of the soul.
For the purposes of this bread, the spiral represents the Celtic concept of seasonal cycles, including the Wheel of the Year.
I use garden herbs in my summer kitchen witch recipes often, and I discuss them at length in other posts. So, I will spare you in this one and simply refer you to their symbolic breakdowns.
I devoted an entire article to each of them in years passed.
They’re worth looking over, especially if you have herbs left over and want some ideas to use them up:
With the low-carb, whole-food craze, white flour gets a bad a rap.
But in its defense, artisan bakers around the world consider it a staple.
In kitchen witchery, white flour symbolizes purity, long-term plans and the hearth fire.
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup milk
1 packet instant yeast
3 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 1/2 cup)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons softened butter, divided
1 tablespoon pesto
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly minced rosemary
1/3 cup Romano cheese
Heat milk in on the stove in a small saucepan until warm, but not scalding. It should very warm, but still comfortable to touch.
Pour into a glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Add honey and stir until it’s dissolved. Add yeast. Allow to stand for 1-2 minutes. Add 3.5 cups flour, salt and eggs, and 1 tablespoon softened butter.
Hand mixed until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add more flour as needed until the dough is stretchy and smooth.
Cover with a kitchen towel for 45-60 minutes and allow it to rise.
Make the pesto herb butter.
Mix softened butter with pesto, garlic, chopped basil, rosemary and Romano cheese.
Hand-whip with a fork until light and fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Flour your rolling surface lightly.
Roll dough out evenly into a rectangle. (I mean, you know, roughly. Mine looked more like a misshapen oval). Go for about 12 x 18 inches.
Use a spatula to spread pesto/herb butter out over the surface of the dough. Beginning lengthwise, roll the dough tightly (as you would roll a towel) all the way, then pressing each end closed.
Slice the roll down the middle lengthwise. (Tip: I sharpened my knife and oiled it with olive oil for a really clean cut).
Face the filling side up.
Pinch top two ends together, then cross one side over the other all the way down until you a long, twisty . . . dough thing.
Create an S shape with the twisty rope of dough. Carefully curl each end inwards to form a double spiral.
Bake loaf on baking sheet lined with parchment for 30-40 minutes, until browned on the top. To test doneness, gently tap the loaf on the top. It should make a hollow sound. Serve immediately as is or with an olive oil dipping sauce.