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Monday, August 4

Making John Barleycorn with Kids

Almost every website and book out there will tell you to bake bread on Lammas.  It is "Loaf-mass" after all ;) 

I've been a Pagan for 20+ years and I've never done it.  I've roasted corn.  I've made corn dollies.  I've braided grass and wheat.  I've even made sugar cookie men and decorated them, but I've never made a bread-man. 

If you've been following along on our Facebook page, you'll know that a mobile Bible school has been camped out on our front lawn (we live in an apartment complex) this week.  Doodle Bug has struggled with the things he's overhearing and so we have gone Pagan-kid crazy in our house.  Coloring pages, music cd's, videos, story telling, puppet-making, drumming, smudge making... anything I can think of to keep him reassured of his faith in the Greenman and Goddess. 

So, when he came running into the room pointing to the picture of a man-shaped loaf of bread in a book, I had to comply.  I found a loaf of frozen bread dough in the back of the freezer and set it out to thaw.  The rest is completely made up off the top of my head!

I suppose it would be more inspiring to make the bread from scratch, but I was working within time restraints.  I think that just about any yeast bread would work for this.  I prefer vegan recipes, but use what you like.  

1.  Allow your bread to rise once.  Keeping it covered and moist is essential.

THAWED WHITE BREAD DOUGH.


2.  We sliced the bottom third of the loaf in half. 

BOTTOM THIRD WAS SPLIT TO FORM LEGS


HE TOOK THE CREATION OF JOHN BARLEYCORN VERY SERIOUSLY. 

3.  We used clean hands to lightly twist the legs and rolled the very tip outward, hoping to create the suggestion of feet.  (No picture.)

4.  We made a diagonal cut on each side of the 'middle' third of the bread.  This was our assumed torso.

SLIGHT DIAGONAL TORSO CUTS TO MAKE ARMS.

5.  We lightly twisted the arms in the same way we did the legs.  A little roll and tuck at the end helped to suggest hands (we hoped!).  I didn't want to cut fingers for fear of them burning.
 
WE TWISTED THE ARMS OUT TO MAKE SURE THEY DIDN'T MELT INTO THE BELLY.
6.  Next, we made very small cuts to provide shoulders and shape the head.

CREATING THE SHOULDER-NECK-HEAD PORTION.
7.  We used olives to give him a little character and brushed him down with a little egg-wash (egg whites mixed with water). 

SMILING OLIVE EYES.

8.  Our bread man rose a second time.  I forget how long this took.  Perhaps an hour?

BABY E JUST HAD TO SEE WHAT ALL THE FUSS WAS ABOUT.
9.  We baked him (our bread went for 25 min at 350*) after he puffed up again.  It was soooo worth it to have this during our Lammas celebrations.  We want to do it every year.  





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