Ostara Recipe: Multi-Seed Bread
Ostara, also known as the spring equinox, is the day of balanced in the dark half of the year. Ostara is one of the two days in the year where the length of day and night reaches an equilibrium, signifying the the balance between light and dark. After ostara, the day out length the night.
This is also the day of sacred marriage between the Lady and the Lord, The Goddess is conceived and will gradually transform into the Great Mother in the following months. Ostara is therefore a day of fertility, growth, and new beginnings.
Naturally, foods that are associated to fertility are being used to celebrate this sabbat, such as milk, eggs, and seeds. Every year on ostara, I will bake my multi-seed bread and share it with my friends and family and to honour the Goddess. It is incredibly quick and easy to make. If I can make this in a microwave combo oven in my small kitchenette, you can make it too! I hope you'd try it yourself this year.
500g Plain Flour
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
350 ml Buttermilk or Natural Yogurt
1 Egg, beaten
1-2 Tbsp Honey, depending on your taste
A little Milk, if necessary
Topping: Mixed Seeds, I used a mixture of Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Golden Linseed
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda
2. Gradually stir in the buttermilk and beaten egg until a soft dough forms. If the dough looks dry, add a splash of milk or two (a little at a time).
3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Give it a knead or two, you are looking to pull the dough together and form a ball. Do not over-knead otherwise the final product would be hard and tough, instead of being soft and fluffy.
4. Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle over your mixed seeds topping, very gently press down in order for the seeds to adhere to the dough. If you want to, use a sharp knife to mark a cross on the surface of the dough to give the bread that traditional soda bread look. If you're baking the bread is a family sized oven, the scoring will also help the bread to bake more evenly.
5. Bake in a 200°C preheated oven for 40-45 mins, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom. If the top of the bread starts to brown too much in the first 15-20 mins, lower the temperature to 160°C and carry on with the baking.
6. Transfer the bread onto a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with a generous spread of lightly salted butter and plenty of sweet, sticky honey for that extra sweetness.