A reader asked me what Sun Bread was today and I remembered that I
have yet to write about it on the blog before haven’t posted a picture of it on the blog just yet. I can’t claim ownership of the idea because I got my idea from Elisa Kleven’s picture book, “Sun Bread.” It just dawned on me that I’ve been searching the blog under the name of the bread trying to find a post and coming up empty, but I haven’t searched for the author’s name. Silly me!
Sun Bread began as a Candlemas/Imbloc/Groundhog’s Day ritual back in 2010 and has morphed since then. The first time I made it I used the recipe in Kleven’s book, but it bombed spectacularly. I have since replaced the recipe with one called “Mary’s Challah Bread Recipe” and then shape it as the book describes. I’ve never met Mary, but if I ever get the chance I’d gladly wax poetically on the wonders of her recipe. There isn’t a single person that has shared the ritual of eating this bread with us that hasn’t fallen in love with it immediately.
Sun Bread, Winter Solstice 2011
Over the years I have made it for Groceries’ birthday and a few family gatherings, but mostly it’s something that appears in our home on the Solstice and reappears a few times in the winter months up until Imbloc even though I never really consciously made that choice. It was one of those accidental traditions that found a life of its own. The last time I made it for a non-solstice-y, sun related event it felt kind of off to me. I mentioned it to the husband and he pointed out the attachments we had made with it and gently suggested that there would be nothing wrong with honoring its sacred form and function in our lives. So, while I will gladly make bread for any gathering, even Mary’s Challah Bread, I save this particular shape for sun related holidays.
This year I never made Sun Bread for the Winter Solstice and it felt…wrong. Seeing as it’s been cloudy and rather gloomy lately, it seemed right to make it today. Solstice part two? I’ll make it again for Imbloc for sure and maybe for the Summer Solstice. I’m also going to take the base recipe and make a loaf in the shape of a sheaf of wheat for Lammas.