Monday, July 30, 2007

Wedding Bread

Christina and Sally got married! At long (12+ years) last, these two hotties have finally tied the knot in public, with white roses, Bellinis, and Billy Idol's "White Wedding" as the recessional..

It was a lovely, lovely Northern California day under the oak trees in San Rafael, clear and sunny with a long, long view over the undulating lion-colored hills. Everyone dressed up and drank champagne dolloped with honey and peach puree, the peaches picked by PQ herself the day before on the farm. Lots of organic farm produce made it up to the wedding, for platters of roasted summer squash, baby potatoes, cippoline onions, carrots, and red peppers, and crudites of cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, and even more peppers and carrots. There were beautiful dips galore made by Susie and Heather, and ravishing plates of leg of lamb. Being on the veggie bean-mush farm diet has turned me into a raging carnivore--how much of that lamb I packed away all on my very own, I wouldn't like to say. Shar made the special love-juju hummingbird cupcakes and peaches-and-cream cake, Sally's old pals Tess, Reggie, and Carol dressed up in sequins and lip-synched and danced for Christina, and both the Lucys (ages 4 and 10) had a bang-up time.

Love was in the air, and if only K. had been there, all would have been perfect. But she's on her way to California soon--just a week! And she'll be here, ready to be wined and dined and relaxed among the redwoods, far from the chiggers and poison ivy. And I'll be off the farm, which, lovely as it is, one really needs to get a break from every so often, back into the land of non-shared everything and soft clean inside beds.

Part of their ceremony was a ritual sharing of bread and honey. The honey came from a black-lava beach where they did their own private wedding ceremony last year; the bread I was honored to make that morning. So we call it a

Sweet Wedding Moon Bread for a Feast of Love

1 cube fresh yeast, or 1 packet dried (fresh is nicer, if you can find it in the refrigerated section of your market--it's often on a little shelf near the butter and yogurt)
1 1/2 cups tepid water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil or soft butter
2 cups unbleached white bread flour (with more as needed to make a soft dough)
1 tbsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
chopped pecans, diced dried figs, golden raisins, pumpkin seeds

1. Dissolve yeast in tepid water, and let stand 5 minutes.
2. Stir in honey, olive oil, and 2 cups white flour. Sprinkle on salt and whole wheat flour.
3. Stir in additional white flour to make a soft dough. Knead well for 10-12 minutes, until smooth and springy.
4. Let rise to double in bulk. Punch down, knead briefly, and pat into a flat rectangle. Sprinkle on nuts and dried fruit, folding the dough over and kneading gently to incorporate. Shape as desired. I made this into a flat oval, then made diagonal cuts in the middle of each side to make a fougasse shape. But you could also make a regular loaf, or a foccacia-type flatbread.
5. Let rise 30-40 minutes.
6 Bake at 400F until nice and golden brown. Let cool to warmish, then eat with butter and honey.


k. said...

Wish I could've enjoyed this with you.

Michael said...

The recipe for Sweet Wedding Moon Bread sounds pretty good. I think I’ll give it a try. I have a friend who has a fig tree, so I might see if I can incorporate fresh figs into the recipe instead of the dried ones.