Bread of the Dead
October has alway been a month of remembrance, a time when the veil between the worlds grew thin so the dead
could slip back into the world of living. Food and drink were left out and chairs were set before fires for the dead
While today we hold Halloween parties and hand candy out to trick or treaters, in the past cakes and cookies were
baked to pay homage to the dead. In Scotland, cakes made of oat flour known as Dirge Loaves where given to
children who went door to door signing souling songs. While in Britain Soul cakes, farthing cake, or Saumans loafs
were made for distribution among the poor. In Barcelona sweets called panellets dels morts were sold and until
fairly recently, families in France took pots of chrysanthemums and gathered at their family’s graves in an act of
remembrance. In Italy, a cookie called bones of the dead or ‘Ossi di Morto’ is still baked to celebrate the dead.

Cultures the world over 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 place 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.

You can join the celebration by creating a new family tradition. 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. 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.
You will need:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons anise seed
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest

For Glaze
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
To finish
2 tablespoons sugar
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. In a
separate bowl sift together flour and spices. Stir flour mixture into butter
mixture until incorporated. Dump dough onto a piece of parchment paper and
press into a log. Refrigerated for at least 1 hour. Slice into rounds and place
on greased baking sheets. Decorate the top with currents pressed into
dough to form a cross.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
You will need:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
soul cakes halloween recipe
Heat milk and butter in a small sauce pan until butter is melted. Stir together and remove
from the heat. Add water. Gauge the temperature to make sure it is about 100 degrees and
add the yeast. Note if the mixture is too hot or it will kill the yeast.

In a large mixing bowl stir together 1 cup of the flour, 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.
Pan de Muerto recipe
Ossi di Morto, or Bones of the Dead
In Italy families would gather on All Soul’s Day to visit
graves and to feast. One special All Soul's Day treat is
the Ossi di Morto, or Bones of the Dead, a crisp and
chewy cookie meant to be dipped in coffee or wine
while family stories are shared.

You will need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups finely ground almond meal
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 Tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
the grated rind of 1 lemon
powder sugar, for dusting
Grease and flour a baking sheet or cover it in parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350
In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until combined. In a
separate mixing bowl beat eggs until foamy. Stir in the sugar and mix in the butter in bits at a time until
mixture is smooth. Stir in lemon and add flour mixture stirring to  form a smooth, soft dough. Do not over
Transfer the dough floured work surface and divide it in half. Roll the first section into a rope that is 1/2 inch
in diameter. Cut each rope into 4 inch pieces. Then make the bones by rounding the ends and pressing in the
center to create a bone effect.  
Transfer  the bone to a prepared baking sheets and refrigerate  for several hours or overnight.
When dough is chilled, remove the cookies from the refrigerator. Bake for 15 minutes. Dust warm cookies
with powder sugar and let cool.
Bones of the Dead
Soul Cakes

Samhain or “Feast of the Dead”, was kept as a fast day ending in a
great bonfire usually set to blaze upon a hill to light the dead’s way to
heaven. But on the night before, it was customary before the
Reformation, for Soulers to go “Souling” or travel door to door begging
for soul-cakes and spiced ale in return for prayers and songs.

Also known as farthing cake, or Saumans loafs, soul cakes were made
for distribution among the poor and handed out to with "a blessing
upon the living and a prayer for the dead."
Liminal Landscapes
Pan de Muerto

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.