Autumn Equinox + Rustic Seasonal Bread Recipe
Good day witches!
Somehow, it’s September 22nd already, and the Autumn Equinox is upon us. I must say, I’m so ready to put summer behind me - this past season has been one of mounting frustration, anxiety, and stress. My tarot cards kept urging me to take some time for myself, and allow my business some breathing room, but as any entrepreneur will tell you, that’s easier said than done. So here I am, burnt out and weary, but with arms outstretched, ready to embrace the time of year that celebrates an abundance of good food, company, conversation, and nature’s delights.
My partner and I set out this morning to a place which, by name, immediately stirs up a sense of magic, and mystery within my soul - Smoky Hollow. For those of you that don’t know, the region which surrounds Hamilton is known for it’s multitude of waterfalls and rich biodiversity, and Smoky Hollow was no disappointment. We sat by the water’s edge cleansing our crystals, charging them with the surging waterfall’s power and purity, and took a hike through the dense deciduous forest which wove tendrils of roots, branches, and leafy appendages underfoot and overhead. I was continuously met with an overwhelming desire to cry. It felt so good to breath in the fresh air, and clear my mind of all the worries that had been plaguing it. I’ll forever be amazed, and grateful, for nature’s ability to set me right again. Thank you, thank you, thank you beautiful earth!!
The only way this day could get any better was with a fresh homemade loaf of bread. I love baking bread because it’s easy, and makes the house smell delicious. And also, the recipe I use doesn’t require the dough to sit for 12+ hours ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for that. You’re welcome. Let’s do this…
You will need:
About an hour of time
1.5 cups of warm water
1.5 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of maple syrup (a.k.a my life’s blood - but you can also sub in honey, or sugar)
1 tbsp of active dry yeast, or one of those little packets of Fleischmann's yeast
3.5 cups of flour
1 tbsp of dried thyme (for protection)
1 tbsp of dried basil (for abundance)
1 tsp of cinnamon (also for abundance, but mainly because the smell of it will always remind me of Autumn)
1. In a medium sized bowl, add the salt, maple syrup, yeast, and water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until a creamy foam begins to form on the surface.
2. Slowly add in 3.5 cups of flour, mixing your herbs in as you go as well. I would suggest starting with a spatula to mix everything, and then switch to using your hands around the 3rd cup mark. You’ll be able to gauge when the dough has reached optimal consistency this way. You’ll want it to be moist enough that it sticks to itself, but not so moist that it feels like it’s gluing your fingers together. You can add more flour as need be if you find that yours requires it.
3. On a baking sheet, form your doughy ball of goodness into the shape of a loaf, and cover it with a clean tea towel. Preheat your oven to 400°F/205°C, and allow the dough to sit covered for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the tea towel, and using a knife, make some shallow slits along the top of your loaf (I usually do 3 slits). At this point, you could even rub a little butter along the top for a little extra oomph.
5. Pop your dough in the oven and let it bake for 20-25mins. Keep an eye on it, and remove the loaf once it flaunts a crispy golden crust. You can insert a knife and check to make sure it’s not still doughy inside, but I usually find after 22 minutes, it’s a done deal.
6. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then cut into your lovely loaf of abundance and feel those festive autumnal vibes warm your inners.