Baking for the winter solstice
I discovered this poem on TFL (in a comment posted by LindyD – thank you, Lindy, for sharing it);
I am re-posting the poem here - I thought it so beautiful, and so fitting, for the winter solstice.
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
This baking is inspired by the winter solstice and all of the stars, the moon and beauty lighting up the night sky.
Last year about this time, I saw a breathtaking Christmas Bread, made with rye levain, spiced raisins and roasted sesame - in a beautiful star shape, baked by Lutz of Plotzblog. The star shape and dark color of this bread made me think of the season’s dark skies, the sesame seeds like tiny 'lights' in the crumb.
The Plotzblog site is undergoing some maintenance so his formula isn't available at the moment; this is my interpretation of the formula Lutz posted:
This Christmas bread reminded me of an article a friend sent me a couple of years ago (written by Martha Rose Shulman, and so interesting!), about the French Pastry School’s Jacquy Pfeiffer and the baking traditions he grew up with in Alsace, France. One of the traditional holiday cookies Mr. Pfeiffer made was Zimtsterne, a cinnamon star-shaped cookie. These seemed like the perfect thing to bake, to go along with the bread. I'm so glad I tried making these - they are a most delicious cinnamon cookie! :^)
...royal icing glaze lightly caramelized, after a gentle bake
(baked at 335F convection for 15 minutes)
These cookies are called Vanillekipferl, a Viennese almond shortbread cookie, shaped like a crescent and rolled in vanilla sugar after baking. The shape of the cookie, and the vanilla sugar adding a silvery, glittery sheen made these cookies seem moon-like to me :^)
...and after baking, dusted with vanilla sugar...beautiful flavor!
Here is the recipe, from something I saved from a magazine years and years ago.
I hope you like these stars and moons, and the poem for the winter solstice...wishing everyone at TFL a very happy holiday season!
Submitted to YeastSpotting