Catholic Recipe: Whole Wheat Batter Bread
In the early days of Christianity, the first of August was called Lammas, or Loaf Mass, Day, because new grain was baked into bread and taken to the church to be blessed at this time. It has been celebrated as harvest day in many lands for centuries past.
Thus Lammas Day is a time to bake a loaf or two of sweet-smelling homemade bread, to savor the first fruits of summer. We can make it a time for rest and recreation, dancing, singing, and, of course, feasting.
Nowadays we do not raise the grain ourselves nor grind it into flour. But as a token of thanksgiving to God, who gives us our daily bread, we can bake a loaf and serve it, fresh from the oven, on this harvest day.
In mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add honey, brown sugar, or molasses, 1/2 of both kinds of flour, salt, and shortening. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed on mixer or 300 strokes by hand. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl frequently. With spoon, blend in remaining flour until smooth. Cover. Let rise in warm place (85°) until double — about 30 minutes. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Spread batter evenly in greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Batter will be sticky. Smooth out top of loaf by flouring hand and patting into shape. Let rise in warm place (85°) until batter reaches 1 inch from top of pan — about 40 minutes. Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes or until brown. To test loaf, tap top crust. It should sound hollow. Remove from pan immediately. Place on cooling rack or across bread pans. Brush top with melted butter or margarine. Do not place in direct draft. Cool before cutting.Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965