While I did indeed make a loaf of bread a day during the Bitchin’ Bread Battle, between daily baking, some semblance of a social life, and that pesky day job I didn’t have time to write about everything I made. Now that I’ve indulged in my love of Star Trek and Iron Man, it’s time to post all these waiting bread recipes.
First, for those of you who’ve been waiting, it’s time we return to Arrakis.
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup melted butter
2 tsp salt
6 ½ – 7 cups bread flour
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar (brown sugar optional)
1/4 cup melted butter
sliced blanched almonds
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
So many things went wrong with my first sandworm that the Fremen threw me out of the sietch. Look at this monstrosity.
No. Just no.
I spent a little time in the city serving those soft, water-fat lords from Caladan. When I couldn’t take that anymore, I wandered the desert in search of a vision. Shai Hulud himself came to me and spoke with his spice scented breath, giving me a vision of a proper tribute to him in bread.
Behold and learn.
First, mix the yeast and warm water. Let the yeast blossom like a sand storm in the desert. After ten minutes, add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and eggs. Whisk it all together until your bowl starts to smell like stale spice wine.
Add half the flour. Top that off with the melted butter. You may think you want to add the melted butter to the liquids, but you’re wrong. The heat will destroy your yeast as surely as a spice mining platform attracts a worm. Top it off with the rest of the flour.
This part may seem dangerous, but if you own a stand mixer, set it to 2 and let it go for six or seven minutes. Try to break the rhythm by pausing at random times to scrape the sides. It’s far safer to mix everything up by hand then knead it for a good 10 minutes at a random, uneven pace.
Form the spice dough into a ball. Put it in a well greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for an hour, or until the size doubles.
When you come back, punch it like a fat Harkonen.
Spread some extra flour on a clean surface and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
Paint the dough with your melted butter, leaving at least 1 inch of clear space around the edges.
The last time I made a sandworm, I tried neatly arranging the almonds into teeth facing outwards. It wasn’t awful, but that worm looked more like it should be terrorizing a desert town in Tremors instead of riding majestically across the desert. The problem was when the dough rose, it pushed all the teeth outwards and upwards.
I learned from that mistake. This time, I spiked the first inch or so of my sandworm’s mouth with almonds pointing up, but angled ever so slightly outwards.
Evenly sprinkle on your cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar. You can pre-mix them if you’d like, or you can just lightly massage it all into the butter using your fingertips.
In addition, instead of rolling the worm tight, I made sure it was loose, almost floppy. If you roll a bread too tight, it’ll push outwards, malforming the shape. Give it room to grow.
Once I had a fat, toothy sandworm, I put it in a well buttered pan, gave the body some slithery kinks, sliced ridges into its back, and let it grow.
About an hour and twenty minutes later, it rose dramatically. I whisked a teaspoon of vanilla with an egg, painted the Great Maker’s back, and baked it at 350F for 25 minutes.
As soon as it emerged from the oven, I anointed its flesh in glaze so the flavor could penetrate the outer skin.
Behold! The sleeper has awakened!
If I ever decide to make another one of these monstrosities, next time I’ll roll the dough out a little longer so I can get more curve into my sandworm. I’ll also bake it on a larger surface, possibly a big round metal pizza pan so it’ll have plenty of room to coil and grow.
I also advise adding 1 tsp of almond extract or 1 shot of almond liqueur after the yeast proofs. The almond flavor really enhances the cinnamon.
After your friends admire, treat it like a baby worm you’re melting into the Water of Life. Wait, don’t. Soaking it in a puddle won’t help the flavor. Instead, cut it into rings and drizzle a little more glaze on each slice. If only fat, sugar, and carbs could extend life and broaden the mind without an infusion of the spice melange.
Bitchin’ Bread Battle: Enter the Madness
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 1: Nutella Challah
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 2: Banana (Catan) Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 3: Rosemary Garlic Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 4: Ood Rolls
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 5: Not Quite King’s Hawaiian Rolls
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 6: Make it Dough
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 7: Wookie Pull Apart Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 8-11: Settlers of Catan Bread Board
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 12: How NOT to Make a Sandworm
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 13: Valentine’s Day Anatomical Human Heart Pull Apart Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 14: Nutella or Cinnamon Roll Hearts
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 15: Outback Copycat Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 16: Return of the Sandworm
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 17: Vegan Popplers
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 18: Woodbury Bleeding Zombie Victim Loaf
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 19: Alien Xenomorph Pretzel Bread Eggs
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 20: Aperture Laboratories Bleeding Summer Strawberry Lemon Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 21: Roasted Garlic Bread in Meatloaf Grease
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 22: Wonder Woman
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 23: Watermelon Bread
Walk without rhythm and you won’t attract the worm… but you might attract Christopher Walken.