Monday, October 26, 2009

Making Babies

With my eldest child about to get married and my youngest child well out of diapers (Thank the Lord!), I had thought I was all done making babies. But then Gretchen, the Bread Baking Babes' host kitchen for the month, introduced us to Tanta Wawas, Peruvian bread babies, our assignment for the month.

I was blessed to have Tanna, our founder, come bake with me. She happened to be in town and offered to come make babies with me. And it's a good thing she did, as they were a handful!

The recipe we were originally given made a massive amount of dough - way too much for my mixer, so it was all done by hand. The dough was very dry and shaggy and we ended up adding 300 ml of additional water, just to get all the flour absorbed and the dough in some sort of shape to knead.

Deciding on the right amount of yeast was a brain strain, as I don't stock fresh yeast. We finally agreed on an amount for the instant yeast and proceeded.

The kneading went on and on and on and never seemed to change the characteristic of the dough much. It stayed lumpy, hard, and dense. We let it rest and rise. When we returned, it was still lumpy, hard, and dense.

The shaping of the dough was daunting. We had seen pictures of beautiful, intricately crafted dough creations, but no instructions other than "shape." Tanna and I were not feeling overly creative, so we asked my husband for help. He may seem like a straightforward, no nonsense engineer type, but in preschool he got a ++ Smiley Face in play dough, so he was the man for the job.

After he'd crafted a fighter jet and a Wallace head (as in Wallace and Grommit), Tanna and I had enough confidence to attempt a fish, a camel, an octopus, and a gun totin' bandallero bambino.

We left the creations to rise for 3 hours (the just barely rose) and then popped them into the oven. The result? Hard to describe. Sweet....ish. Spicy.....sort of. Dry....but moist. And definitely moreish.

Gretchen retooled the recipe and came up with a moister version that is much smaller. You can check out her page for the new and improved version. I'll give you what I worked with. Just in case you've got a preschool class that needs a craft.

If you'd like to bake up some babies, you can earn a Bread Baking Buddy badge. Just send a link to your blog post to Gretchen by November 6th, and she'll send you a badge to proudly display on your website.

And be sure to see what all the other creative Babes did this month! (Links in the sidebar)

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)
Makes 8

500g of whole wheat flour

2 kilos of bread flour

675g of sugar

125g of shortening

100g of fresh yeast (we used 38 g instant yeast)

25g of salt *note: Peruvian salt is powdery, so we ground it in a mortar and pestle

4 eggs at room temp

25g of ground cinnamon

5g of ground cloves

25g of sesame seeds

125g of butter

200 milliliters of milk

300 milliliters of water

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

4 egg yolks (for painting)

1. In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and sesame seeds. Make a well in the center and add in the shortening, eggs, butter, milk, water and vanilla. Mix well then turn out and knead for 10-15 minutes. (Add extra water as necessary to moisten all the dry bits.) Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 8 portions of 500g each. Form them into ovals the size of your hand. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

3. Stretch each dough ball and shape as desired. Place them on baking sheets which have been greased and floured. Cover with plastic and let the dough babies grow to three times their size. (I left mine for 3 hours)

4. Preheat the oven to 180C (350 deg. F)

5. Brush the egg yolks over the dough babies. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, till an instant read thermometer reads 190 deg. F.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Such an enticing cookie variety!! And such a fun baking experience with great company :)

NKP said...

What fun to be baking all together!
A joyous kitchen indeed.
I love the shapes you came up with, and am particularly enamoured of the octopus!

grace said...

making babies—an enviable pastime. :) i like the octopus most of all, i think because it gives me an excuse to say octopi. :)

Katie Zeller said...

I can't imagine making the whole recipe - a handful indeed! But how fun to bake with Tanna.... And I think they're darling!

Lien said...

So good to see you all baking together. Love your shapes of the breads, my favorite is the octopus too.

Maria said...

I love all of the fun shapes!

Elizabeth said...

You are brilliant to have made all these creatures!


Susan from Food Blogga said...

How fun! You baked with Tanna! I love these baked babies. They're just darling.

breadchick said...

We were all so jealous when you posted on our BBB blog pictures of not only the cute "babies" but you got Tanna in your kitchen too!

natalia said...

It must have been funto bake together !! I'll try them !!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Love how you gloss over the 'headache' that yeast calculation was :) but then we had such a fun time making babies!
It was a "Massive" dough.
Told you that octopi would take the world by storm!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Your post title had me worried for a moment!

Looks like a lot of fun - I think the octopus is the winner in my book!

Karen Baking Soda said...

So much fun to make babies together! I wish we could have joined you in a communal baby-making effort. Love the creative shapes you came up with.

The Cooking Ninja said...

lol! I thot you're going to have another baby till I read further down. :p I love the fish and octopus. :)

Monique said...

How good it is to bake together . And the Tanta Wawa's look great , specially the octo- "pussy "

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I love bread making--something about the whole process is so amazing!! Plus I am in love with the smell of yeast :-P

We Are Not Martha said...

Awww so cute and pretty!! Nice job :)


Ilva said...

How nice they look with the colors on them!

Elle said...

So glad that you and Tanna were able to bake this interesting bread together. I love the fish and the octopus...there seems to be an octopus theme with y'all. :)
Might have to try this myself, with the benefit of the update recipe. Hope it makes a little less dough!

Sara said...

the octopus is my favorite! so adorable.

eatme_delicious said...

You guys did a great job with the dough! I love the octopus.