Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice

Yesterday was Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and to celebrate it we decided to make the Father Sun loaf. Next time I will probably only take a third of the recipe because it turned out HUGE (you can see how the rays are overflowing on top and bottom, I did not have any big square pans), but it was kind of appropriate for the Sun. It was delicious and we froze two thirds of it to enjoy later. Kitten especially was impressed with the loaf and kept asking for "more Sun with butter". I have to admit, I enjoyed sculpting it and did not expect it to turn out nearly as good (so humble, I know!). I can see many many bread sculptures in my future. But, to the recipe (you can use any bread recipe but this is the one I chose).

1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) yeast
1 cup warm water or milk (I used milk)
1 tsp honey
6-9 cups flour (the recipe says 6 but I ended up using 9 to get the proper consistency, I used 2 cups whole wheat and the rest white flour)
2 tsp salt
3 cups water
1/3 cup honey (the end result was just a little sweeter than regular bread, so you may want to add some more sugar)
1/3 cup oil or melted butter (I used butter)
Optional raisins, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, spices, garlic, etc. (I used dried cranberries, crushed walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg).

Proof the yeast in 1 cup of milk and honey until it gets bubbly. This should take about 15 minutes. Mix water, salt, honey and oil/butter in another bowl.
Add yeast mixture to liquids and allow the child with wooden spoon to stir while you add flour one cup at a time until it is too hard to stir.
Add your spices while the dough is still pretty liquid and nuts/fruits when it is more dense.
Get your hands messy by mixing/kneading the rest in by hand. The consistency should be pretty dense and not sticky, your hands should be able to stay clean and not covered with stuck dough. Knead for a while until the dough is smooth and shiny. It took me about 20 minutes but I am sure it could have used some more kneading, my hands got tired.

Put the dough in a clean bowl with a small amount of oil in it and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise until it doubles in size.
Punch down, make the Sun or loaves or whatever you fancy and allow to rise again. I divided the dough in halves, made a circle from one half, pinched small pieces from another half, rolled them to make facial features, adding cranberries for eyes and then pinched off bigger pieces, rolled them into balls, stuck them all the way around the sun and pulled them into rays. I did this step without Kitten's help because I wanted a specific result but next time I will allow her to shape it too.
Bake in preheated to 350F oven for 40 min or so depending on the size of the loaves.


  1. How beautiful it came out! I'll have to do this next year. Thanks for visiting me at "Chocolate Eyes".


  2. Always fun to make bread, great design, cheers Marie

  3. Yummy, an wow, that is really lovely, blessing on the solstice.

  4. That is a truly original idea! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Looks so yummy and Kitten had so much fun, it seems! You two are a great team! (t-t-t)