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Marvel Week: Hail Hydra With This Pull Apart Tentacle Bread

Good news, everybody! I just recorded the Kickstarter video for the Illustrated Geek Cookbook! As soon as I get it back from the editor, I can submit the whole shebang to Kickstarter.

In addition to a copy of the book, our rewards range from posters of your favorite Illustrated Geek Recipes to a reward level where you can command me to come up with an original recipe from your favorite fandom which Tom will obediently illustrate with you drawn in. Have fun showing off when your friends see it in the book.

Until then, though, HAIL HYDRA!


A lot of you confessed a tasty allegiance for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pull apart bread.

Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been disbanded, it’s time to unveil an edible homage to our new overlords.

Hail Hydra Pull Apart Bread

1 tbsp yeast
1 cup warm water
⅔ cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup (1 stick) room temperature butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp green food coloring
5 – 5 ½ cups bread flour

3/4 cup Nutella

1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp water

Start by subjugating the yeast. Dissolve a tablespoon of it in a cup of very warm water. Don’t scald it. The torture comes later. Right now, we want it to believe we’re on it’s side, so sweeten the yeast up with a tablespoon of sugar.

Let the yeast blossom under your nurturing care until what was once a mere handful of powder is now a mighty collection of gas producing agents all working together to escape the confines of the bowl.

Continue to lead them into a false sense of security by sweetening the pot with the ⅔ cup of sugar. Fatten them up with an entire stick of room temperature butter. Muddy the waters by cracking in a couple of eggs, a teaspoon of salt, and a couple teaspoons of green food coloring.*

Now that it’s complacent, beat the mix a little, just to give it a taste of what’s to come. Now drown it in 5 – 5 ½ cups of bread flour.

Once you’ve transformed the sloppy mess into a green dough, knead it for 8-10 minutes. If you prefer the dehumanizing touch of a machine repeatedly ripping into the dough’s flesh, toss it in your Kitchenaid with the dough hook attached and leave it there for about 6 minutes.

Either way, once you’ve achieve a strong, glossy dough, cover it with a kitchen towel and leave it alone, quivering in fear, for an hour of solitary confinement.

When you return, it should be double in size. We can’t have that. Punch it back into submission and watch it deflate.

Now cut the dough in half. Put one wad of dough in the corner of your workspace so it has to watch what comes next.

Roll the other half of the dough into a circle a little wider than your largest dinner plate. Now turn that plate over on the dough and cut around it. Save the scraps.

Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza pan or large cookie sheet. Transfer the first disc to that clinical white surface. Smother it with half a cup of Nutella

Before it joins it’s flattened friend, spread the Nutella over the surface, leaving about an inch of room around the edges.

Roll out the second ball into a matching dough disc. Put it on top of the first and pinch the edges together.

Now things get interesting. You’re going to make a skull and six tentacles. Follow along with the photos.

Make two curved cuts from the top down to form the skull shape.

Move down a couple inches and make two more cuts. It should now look a lot like a bulbous head with some tentacles at the side.

Make two more side incisions then cut a slit down the bottom center to form the last two tentacles.

Pull the top two tentacles straight up, tugging on the fleshy dough a little to stretch it out. Now twist it in a spiral.

Go to the middle set of tentacles and do the same thing.

Yup. Same process for the bottom two.

To achieve that Hydra shape, curl the top two tentacles down and in, so they’re almost making ears.

Turn the bottom two sets inwards as well.

To make the eyes and cheekbones, grab a regular spoon. Plunge it into the green flesh to create a flap. Pull that flap sideways and tuck it under the skull. You’ve now revealed the inner Nutella eye while also conveniently creating a cheekbone.

Cut out a triangle for the nose. While you have your knife there anyway, make some vertical slits near the bottom of the skull for the teeth.

Remember the scraps you discarded before? Grab them now and use them to make a sturdy circle surrounding the skull and tentacles.

Now leave the whole thing alone to rise for another hour.

When you come back, bake it at 350F for 30 minutes. The top should start to darken without turning a full golden brown.

While your Hydra cooks, whisk together the powdered sugar, icing, and water to form a sweet glaze. You don’t want a thick icing. That would obscure all your hard work. Instead, you want to add a little kick of flavor while also bringing out the brightest green possible.

Use a pastry brush to paint on one layer while the bread is still fresh. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes then paint on a second layer of sweet, glistening evil.

* If you prefer Hydra’s more intimidating red look, substitute 3 tsp of red food coloring. If you aren’t extra generous with the red, it’ll come out pink. If that happens, instead of an intimidating secret agency, you’ll look like you’re paying tribute to your niece’s second favorite hentai.

Need more Marvel-ous recipes?

Come back every day this week for a new one or check out our virtual library of edible comic book illustrations.

Coulson’s Tahitian Vanilla SHIELD Pull Apart Bread
Captain America’s Breakfast SHIELD
Hulk Smash Sage Loaf
Iron Man Arc Reactor Sweet Rolls
Iron Man Cocktail
Hunger Clobberin’ Orange Monkey Bread
Deadpool Week

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