Emilia's Lavender Bread Recipe
Darkness was falling upon the city and the moon was rising as the perfume of lavender bread floated up to her room. Emilia imagined the power of the moon descending from the sky, filling her with luminosity, granting her the ability to receive everything that God intended for her.
From Nonna's Book of Mysteries
Emilia’s Lavender Bread
1 cup hot liquid (water, milk or a combination)
1/4 cup shortening ( vegetable oil or butter)
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package dry yeast
3 1/2 cups of flour (white, wheat or a combination of both)
1 tablespoon dried, food-grade lavender flowers (available at Whole Foods and other specialty grocery stores)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- Put shortening and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add hot liquid and stir until melted.
- When cooled to lukewarm, add beaten eggs and salt.
- Sprinkle yeast on mixture and stir in. Let sit a few minutes, until yeast clumps and small bubbles form.
- Add salt and then flour, gradually stirring until it becomes necessary to mix with your hands.
- Knead for a few minutes and then cover the bowl with a clean, wet towel.
- Put the bowl in the oven. Turn on the oven to the lowest temperature (170 degrees) for 5 minutes, and then turn the oven off.
- Leave the dough in the warm oven until it doubles in size. (If it happens to be very warm in your kitchen, you don’t have to put the dough in a warm oven to rise.)
- Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf.
- Grease and flour a 10 to 12 inch bread loaf pan.
- Transfer the dough to the pan.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise a second time until double in size again.
- Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a golden crust forms or a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not wrap or store the bread until it cools completely, or you’ll have soggy bread!