Food for a feast day: Epiphany Bread
It's no secret among my family that their daughter, sister, and cousin Meghan loves to cook. It's also well known that I experience a strong connection between food and my faith. Eating simply and sustainably is an expression of my values. Hence the particularly appropriate Christmas gift from my parents: From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook.
Since receiving it, I haven't had a chance to test any recipes. However, I noticed one I thought I should share on this Feast of the Epiphany. The recipe is below.
Some quick research has taught me that there are many traditional cakes and breads to eat on this feast day. Do you or your family have a traditional food you make and eat on Epiphany?
Makes 5 loaves*
4 cups milk, scalded
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, melted
7 packages yeast (dissolved in 1 1/3 cups warm water)
2 1/2 pounds raisins (soak in 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm water)
16-17 cups flour
1. In a large, heavy pan, scald the milk. Add sugar and salt. Cool. Beat eggs and add with melted butter and dissolved yeast to the cooled milk mixture. Add raisins, including the extra water.
2. Measure 14 cups flour into a large bowl and beat in the above mixture. Add additional flour as needed, but the batter should be a little sticky. Cover and let rise to double in size, then punch down.
3. Form into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Let rise in pans until double in size. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes.
*If you'd like to adapt the recipe to make fewer loaves, I suggest Mark Ruhlman's bread-baking ratio.
Also, I'm not a fan of raisins, so I plan to make this with dried cranberries instead.