Cookery Rhymes: Fairy Bread


Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy bread to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.

In many legends, the fairies are prone to kidnapping humans, either as babies, leaving changelings in their place, or as young men and women.  In the days of old it is said that, “if an infant is carried out after dark a piece of bread is wrapped in its bib or dress, and this protects it from any witchcraft or evil.” Parents banded together and made fairy bread as a ward to protect their children. Children are sweet but fairy bread is sweeter with sugar and sprinkles.

Kids learn to make sweet bread. Bloom yeast in warm water, measure and learn the fraction 1/3.

Fairy Bread
5 cups bread flour
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature, divided, cut into 1 inch pieces
7 large eggs
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 cup whole milk

1. Combine the bread flour and all purpose flours.
2. In a mixer or by hand cream the eggs butter and sugar and salt.
3. Bloom the yeast on the water and milk
4. Combine the egg mixture with the yeast
5. In the mixer add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until the flour is incorporated with the liquid. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky. (Tacky retaining a slightly sticky feel; not fully dry.) Adjust the consistence of the dough with flour as needed
6. Let rise for 1 hour. Punch dough down and mix for 5 minutes in mixer or fold for 10 by hand.
7. Shape rolls and let rise 30 minutes or doubled in size.
8. Preheat oven to 325º F and bake rolls 1 sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and brush with melted butter, dust with sprinkles and cool.

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