Bread of the Dead
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Through the ages Ceremonial breads have played an important role in celebrations. Harvest is no exception In Scotland,
cakes made of oat flour and known as Dirge Loaves where given to children who went door to door signing souling
songs. In Italy, a cookie called bones of the dead or ‘Ossi di Morto’ is eaten to celebrate the dead. The tradition of
giving Soul Cakes, a small cake filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon or currants, originated in Britain or Ireland during
the Middle Ages. Soul cakes, farthing cake, or Saumans loafs were made for distribution among the poor and handed
out to children with "a blessing upon the living and a prayer for the dead." Many cultures celebrate the lives of their
ancestors on special days with Mexico’s Day of the Dead being the most well known, although similar days take placing
in Bolivia, Brazil, Japan, and Eastern Europe. In China, the seventh month of the Chinese calendar is the Ghost Month,
where ancestors come back to visit their families still on this side of the veil.

In the past celebration breads were skillfully made and ornately decorated to mark life's milestones. Days of baking
herald all the ancient celebrations, for the art of baking is as old as the first civilization. This month spend some time
engaging in this time honored practice. Every time an art is learned and practiced, such as bread making, it is inherited
and infused with new life. Through this ancient art one can reconnect to history and tune into the changing seasons.
Acknowledging the seasons is a simple way to harmonize with the world and to recognize that we are a part of
something greater. Choose a recipe and update or adapt it, by including local ingredients and let your spirit lift with joy
and thankfulness for the bounty of the seasons. Give thanks for the abundance in your life by giving a loaf of fresh
bread to a friend or neighbor along with the recipe and pass along a linage that weaves back to the beginning of time.
In the Americas a belief originating
with the Aztecs that the souls of the
dead returned to Mexico with the
migration of the monarch butterfly
each Fall, spawned today's popular
Día de los Muertos during which
sugar skulls and Pan de Muerto or
'bread of the dead' an anise flavored
brioche is baked to honor the dead
at graveside feasts.

Pan de Muerto    
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed

1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl cut the butter into the flour. When
mixture forms small beads, mix in sugar, nutmeg,
ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Beat eggs and milk
together before mixing into flour. Stir until
incorporated. On a piece of parchment paper,
press into a log. Refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
Slice into rounds and place on greased baking
sheets. Traditionally these cookies were
decorated with crosses cut into the top, or
currents pressed into dough.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle cakes with
powdered sugar while still warm.
Soul Cakes
1 cup butter
3 3⁄4 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
4 -6 tablespoons  buttermilk  
powdered sugar
soul cakes halloween recipe
Heat the milk and the butter together in a
medium saucepan, until the butter melts.
Remove from the heat and add water. The
mixture should be around 100 degrees.
Allow to cool if it is too hot or it will kill
the yeast. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of
the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4
cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk
mixture then add the eggs and orange zest
and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2
cup of flour and continue adding more flour
until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured
surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl
cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a
warm place until doubled in size. This will
take about 1 to 2 hours.
Punch the dough down and shape it into a
large round loaf with a round knob on top.
Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely
cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a
warm place for about 1 hour or until just
about doubled in size.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes.
Remove from oven let cool slightly then
brush with glaze.
To make glaze: In a small saucepan
combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice
and orange zest. Bring to a boil over
medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush
over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle
glazed bread with sugar.
Love your Life, Love Your World, Love Yourself
Pan de Muerto recipe
On November 2, Italians celebrate those departed from
us on All Soul’s Day. Families visit graves and gather
to feast. Special treats are baked, one of the most
popular is Ossi di Morto, or Bones of the Dead.
These crisp and chewy cookies are meant to be dipped
in coffee or wine while family stories are shared.

Ossi di Morto, or Bones of the Dead
2 1/2 cups powder sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
powder sugar, for dusting
Lightly grease two baking sheets. In a
medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry
ingredients. Beat in the wet ingredients to make a
smooth, soft dough.
Transfer the dough floured work surface and divide it
into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about
1/2 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 4 inch
pieces. Now it's time to make some bones. Take a
piece and pinch the center to narrow it. Next round
each ends into knobs until it resembles a bone.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and
refrigerate  for several hours or overnight.
When dough is chilled, remove the cookies from the
refrigerator. Heat the oven to 300°F and bake for 15
to 25 minutes, your preference, as 15 minutes will
make a lightly crunchy cookie with a chewy middle.
25 minutes will produce a hard, crunchy cookie.
Sprinkle cookies with powder sugar and let cool.
Ossi di Morto, or Bones of the Dead
Bones of the Dead
The tradition of giving Soul Cakes, a small cake filled with allspice,
nutmeg, cinnamon or currants, originated in Britain or Ireland during
the Middle Ages. Soul cakes, farthing cake, or Saumans loafs were
made for distribution among the poor and handed out to children
with "a blessing upon the living and a prayer for the dead."