Loaf - an indispensable attribute of a traditional wedding
Loaf is an essential attribute of any wedding. But what is the reason for using such baking? And how to bake a beautiful and tasty loaf yourself? Answers to these and many other questions you can learn from the article.
Karavai as an attribute of a wedding celebration
Loaf is a symbolic festive bread. Wheat was considered a symbol of fertility, and the spherical shape appeared due to the veneration of the Slavic pagan God of the Sun. It is believed that the tradition of meeting the newlyweds with a loaf is rooted in the civilization of ancient Egypt. From there, it spread to Rome and Hellas, and with the beginning of the preaching of Christianity began to travel the world. And special attention was given to such an attribute by the Slavs, whose main food was bread: the people of Russia put a special meaning into it.
A lover of newlyweds was met by the groom's parents, who were supposed to live with the young after the wedding.Thus, the father and mother seemed to show their hospitality to the spouses, bringing as a gift the symbol of well-being, stability and wealth, which was decorated baked bread.
The loaf is served on a tray, sometimes a beautiful embroidered towel is placed under it. At the top is placed a container with salt, into which pieces of bread are dipped before use. In addition, the Slavs sought to protect the loaf from the evil eye, so from above he too often covered himself with a beautiful towel.
It is interesting: the tradition of meeting newly-married spouses with loaves exists to this day and is observed in Russia, Ukraine, some regions of Poland, and also in Belarus.
Interesting features of cooking loaf
From time immemorial, special attention was paid to cooking, and it turned into a whole ritual. And many believed that if you break the rules, the newlyweds will not be able to find happiness in family life. In Russia, it was decided to observe the following traditions:
- It is customary to prepare the preparation of a round loaf on Saturday, on which the wedding day falls. And it was his baking that was considered the beginning of the solemn wedding ceremony.
- In Russia, the loaves were baked by women who were engaged in this. And all of them should be married once, have strong families and children. It was believed that the bowl share their experiences and happiness. The process could be led by the godmother of the bridegroom or the bride. But to involve widows, unmarried and childless female representatives in the process was categorically forbidden, as many believed that they could mar the life of the young and fill it with the troubles and grief that they themselves experienced. Sometimes children were allowed to add water to the dough, they could put in it symbolized the wealth of the coin. But to put a loaf in the oven should have been a married man.
- In the process of kneading dough and baking bread, it was customary to read prayers. Sometimes folk songs were performed.
- Wheat flour has traditionally been used for cooking, but some ethnic groups prefer rye.
Beliefs related to the loaf
Some signs are associated with the loaf:
- According to tradition, the young were to pinch off a piece of loaf, dip in salt and eat. And it is believed that the one who separates and eats more will be the master in the family.
- You can break the loaf in half.The one who gets the greater half should become the custodian of the family budget.
- If the guest left the wedding without a piece of loaf, then we can assume that he did not attend the wedding and spent time in vain.
- If you are treated with a loaf, you can share it with your family, relatives or friends. Thus, everyone who has tasted pastries will find a piece of happiness that has become available to the newlyweds.
- The loaf obtained at the wedding was used as a talisman in ancient times and was kept or constantly carried with him to protect against evil forces.
- Do not give anyone to touch or hold the loaf, as it is able to absorb and accumulate energy, including negative.
- A bad sign will be the fall of the loaf. This is regarded as the collapse of family happiness and the troubles and quarrels awaiting the newlyweds.
- You can not refuse the loaf, it is a sign of disrespect for the spouses.
- The larger the size of the loaf, the more prosperous, happier and richer the family life will be.
How to bake yourself?
How to cook a wedding loaf correctly so that it turned out not only tasty, but also beautiful? This will require the following ingredients:
- seven or eight glasses of wheat flour (determine during cooking);
- 100 g of butter (can be replaced with vegetable);
- 20 g of fast dry yeast;
- about seven centuries. l. Sahara;
- half a cup of milk;
- 10 eggs;
- couple tsp salts;
- to taste raisins, cinnamon.
- Get some yeast first. Dissolve them in slightly warmed milk and add a teaspoon of granulated sugar to trigger the reaction.
- In a bowl, place the yolks that are separated from the whites, whip them with the remaining sugar. Then in this mixture enter the activated yeast. Whisk the proteins separately to get a froth.
- Pour the flour on a flat surface with a mountain, form a recess in the center, and pour the yolk-yeast mixture, melted butter, and protein foam into it. Do not forget to add salt at this stage.
- Gradually move the flour from the edges of the slides to the center to knead the dough. Knead it until it becomes homogeneous and no longer sticky to your hands.
- Cover the dough with a film and leave to rise. When it increases in volume, beat and crush it and leave it for some time.
- Then take the bulk of the dough and leave for a little decoration. Form a large cake, place it on a parchment-laid baking sheet and decorate.
- Leave a loaf so that it will reach and increase in volume. Moisten the surface periodically with water to avoid cracking.
- Next, coat the loaf with whipped yolk and send to bake at 200 degrees in the oven for one to one and a half hours.
- Open the door slightly so that the baking is a bit cold, but it remains airy.
How to decorate a loaf? In Russia, it was decorated with various patterns of dough in the form of spikelets, swans, flowers, wedding rings, the month and the sun, personified spouses. In a circle, you can put a pigtail, which is a symbol of the purity of the bride. Sometimes, wheat ears, branches, leaves or clusters of viburnum were used for decoration, which were supposed to bring wealth, well-being, love, mutual understanding and, of course, early replenishment to the new family.
How to use?
Where to put the loaf left after the ritual of meeting the newlyweds? There are several opinions on this matter. For example, some believe that this wedding bakery should remain with the newlyweds so that they can maintain family happiness and avoid losses. According to this opinion, only spouses can eat the festive bread.
But there is another point of view.And if you follow it, then the loaf should be completely distributed to the guests. In this case, the upper part goes to the young, the central part is divided between the guests. Sometimes her division is timed to the presentation of gifts to the bride and groom. Each guest who presented a new family received a slice of loaf as a sign of respect. The basis was given to musicians or other indirect participants in the ceremony, who were not actually present at it. But the decorative elements can be distributed to unmarried women, so that they would rather find their marital happiness.
It is interesting: sometimes immediately after the meeting, the young loaves were cleaned, and then transferred to the church as a donation. Thus, the young people received blessings and thanked God for finding each other.
Now you can bake a loaf with your own hands and observe all the traditions associated with it.
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