HAPPY Yorkshire Day or should I say Lammas Day! What is Lammas? And what relevance does it have to my life, you may be asking yourself.

I will say it is a celebration, and who doesn’t need a reason to celebrate? Let’s go explore what it’s all about.

Once upon a time, a long time ago in the mythological story of the wheel of the year, the sun God Lugh, God of light and son of the sun, transfers his power into grain and is sacrificed when the grain is harvest

Sound familiar? The power of the sun goes into the grain as it ripens. It is then harvested and made into the first new bread of the season.

It was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop to be blessed giving thanks for abundance and gratitude for all the hard work that was put in - a good harvest was a matter of life and death in those days.

This tradition ended when Henry Vlll broke away from the Catholic Church. It is sadly overlooked today, maybe because it’s peak holiday time and people are away.

Today we only have one big harvest festival held in the modern-day calendar around the autumn equinox.

Lammas, the corrupted spelling for ‘’loaf-mass’’, was the first harvest festival in the Anglo-Saxon calendar (August 1) when the sun begins to wave, active growth is slowing down, darker days of winter are beckoning, and it’s time for reflection.

This was quickly followed by the fruit and vegetable, then the final harvest was of nuts and wild berries.

The Lammas goddess of abundance is in her aspect as grain mother, the harvest Queen with her daughter Kore representing the grain seed goddess who dropped the seeds back into the dark earth, hidden throughout the long, cold winter, who re-appears in spring as new growth.

For me this is the deep core meaning of Lammas: let’s respect nature, it is about the present harvest holding at its heart the seed of all future harvests.

So as the grain harvest is gathered in, there is food to feed the community throughout the long winter.

Within that harvest is the seed of next year’s rebirth, regeneration, thanksgiving, fulfilment, the union of sun and earth, a time of change and shift. The days of winter are beckoning!

A very important message to give a modern person today: take a moment to be grateful as we live in a world of food banks for free food for the poor!

A simple recipe for a simple crusty white cob


500g/1lb 1oz strong bread flour

10g/1oz salt

20g/2oz sugar

30ml/1 fl oz olive oil

300ml/11 fl oz tepid water

20g/2oz fresh yeast


1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil.

2. In a measuring jug, weigh in the water and add the yeast to dissolve.

3. Add the yeast liquid to the bowl to form a soft dough, cleaning the bottom of the mixing bowl.

4. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for eight minutes until light and springy.

5. Return the dough back to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for an hour or double in size.

6. Once it has doubled in size, shape the dough into a tight ball with the seam at the bottom.

7. Place the ball of dough onto a greased baking tray and allow to prove up again till double in size again.

8. Once it has doubled in size, slash top quickly with a sharp knife quickly to make a small cross.

9. Lightly dust over a little flour on top.

10. Bake your cob in a preheated hot oven, 210c/Gas Mark 7 for around 30-35 minutes middle shelf till dark brown conker crust in colour.

11. Place onto a cooling wire, to cool slightly before slicing up and slavering on the butter.

Baker Mike’s bread tips

* Don’t worry if you don’t have an airing cupboard as a slower rise will give you more flavour.

* A roasting tray of ice cubes can be added to the oven providing a steam bath for a crusty crust.

* Semolina can be sprinkled onto the baking tray to add a crusty crunch and extra flavour.