Dune Week: Spice Stuffed Sandworm Bread

Garam masala spice filled cinnamon roll sandworm from Dune

I have an entirely irrational love of David Lynch’s 1984 science fiction epic, Dune. (This is almost unrelated to my entirely rational and well thought out love of Frank Herbert’s Dune books. These two things should never be confused.) Maybe I saw it at just the right age to find Sting, black leather, and redheads seductive. Maybe it was the first big budget science fiction movie I’d seen where a woman who was just there to be a decorative prize actually stepped up and told the ‘verse how much her role in life sucked. Maybe giant sandworms made me think of David Bowie’s tights in Labyrinth. Regardless of the causes, something about the Lynch version made an indelible mark on my brain.

Fast forward a few years. I’m now a grownup with a kitchen of my very own and some lovely books to prove I’m officially Good At Food. The time has come for me to pay homage to the Great Maker in the way of my people – by sacrificing millions of lives to create an homage worthy of his visage. A tablespoon of yeast should cover it.

Since you honor my sietch with your visit, I will share the secrets of creating a proud, impressive, spice-scented effigy of the Great Maker of Arrakis.

Spice-Stuffed Sandworm Bread


1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
¼ cup slightly cooled melted butter
2 tsp salt
6 ½ – 7 cups bread flour


2 tbsp garam masala (or pumpkin pie spice, or Chinese five spice powder, as preferred in your sietch)
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar  (or 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar if you want it less sticky)
1/4 cup melted butter
sliced blanched almonds
1/2 cup raisins (optional)


3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup water (reduce to 1-2 tbsp for an extra thick glaze)
1 tsp cinnamon or garama masala
1 tsp vanilla extract

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. That looks like it should be stalking a desert town in Tremors.

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 visions of proper tributes to him both in bread for the masses and pie for those cursed with the affliction of Celiac.

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, sietch spice, 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 the butter 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 rhythmic thumping by pausing at random times to scrape the sides. Technically, it’s far safer to mix everything up by hand then knead it for a good 10 minutes at a random, uneven pace, but practically, using the mixer is a lot easier.

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 pressing the almonds into a straight line of teeth. It wasn’t awful, but once purified by the heat of the desert, that worm looked more like it should be terrorizing a 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 anoint his back  with your cinnamon, sietch 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.

If you like raisins, toss some on top. I usually make my sandworms half and half, with pure spice up front and some raisins in the tail end.

In addition, instead of rolling the worm tight, make sure yours is loose, almost floppy. If you roll a shaped bread too tight, when it rises, it’ll push outwards, malforming the shape. Give it room to grow.

Once I had a fat, toothy sandworm, I put it on a pizza tray covered in parchment paper, gave the body some slithery kinks, sliced ridges into its back, and let it grow. I also balled some aluminum foil into a cone and kept that in the Great Maker’s mouth so he’d have an intimidatingly toothy gape after being baked.

All that was left to do was whisk a teaspoon of vanilla with an egg (the vanilla makes your kitchen smell amazing), paint the Great Maker’s back, and send him into the desert to bake it at 350F for 25 minutes.

As soon as he emerged from the oven, I anointed his flesh in glaze so the flavor could penetrate the outer skin.

Behold! The sleeper has awakened!

After your friends take their Pintrest shots, treat your effigy 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 alone could extend life and broaden the mind without an infusion of the spice melange!

Need More Dune Recipes?

Kitchen Overlord’s Illustrated Geek Cookbook includes fast & easy spice stuffed sandworms plus nerdy recipes from 50 other fandoms.

Kitchen Overlord's Illustrated Geek Cookbook

Or check out the links below for even more Dune themed recipes!

Kitchen Overlord Dune Header

Spice Stuffed Squash Sandworms
Spice Filled Sandworm Bread
Sandworms Swimming in a Spice Patch
Sandworm Wellington
Sandworm Spice Cookies
Tabara Cake and Spice Tea
Sandworm Crudites
Sandworm Cake Roundup
Vintage Dune Coloring Pages for Nihilistic Children

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  • I love you…I love Dune. I named my daughter Siona after her namesake in God Emperor of Dune. If I have a boy-child his middle name WILL be Idaho. Why have I not seen this before?

  • What, no recipes for Muad “dip”????

  • oh!! tremors… you could do that… and have Orange Marmalade in it … that would so work!!

    • Chris-Rachael Oseland


      I bet you could substitute 1/2 cup of marmalade and 2 tbsp brown sugar for the 3/4 cup brown sugar listed in the filling. Mix the spices right into the marmalade so the flavors can mingle before you paint it on.

      Send me photos if you try this variation! I’d love to see it!

  • Can’t wait to try this one. I actually liked the first try but instead of tremors my first thought was the Space Herpie worm from Ice Pirates that came out around the same time period.

  • Hi, do you have the recipe for the other pie, in the third picture? 🙂

  • As someone who is a huge Dune fan, this recipe is cool and your prose is hilarious. Some of the best writing I’ve seen on the Internet in a while. You are awesome!

  • Good Lord. I just started RE-reading the entire Dune series in chronologic order (I burned out my last Kindle and just got a new one) and my friend sent me this link.

    You are my culinary hero. The spice must flow.

  • Good Lord. My friend sent me this right as I was at the beginning of re-reading the entire Dune series in chronologic order.

    You are my culinary hero. The spice must flow.

  • My goodness, where have you been? FINALLY a chef after not just after my taste buds, but my mind heart n soul. Sense of humor alot of chefs have that. A chef with a love of SCI-FI…once a life time if you are lucky.
    Thank you for restoring my nerd within!

  • This is totally brilliant,the photos look so good…. my boyfriend just sent me the link and I think he’s hinting for me to bake this….sadly I can’t really eat bread so he’s going to have to eat it all himself and no doubt will end up looking like that awful guy who flys around, Sting’s uncle? (sorry not a huge Dune fan myself…much prefer Bladerunner..)

  • I love this recipe and will certainly try it out.

    I only wish that it called for at least 8 cups of cinnamon. That’s what it would probably take to get the fragrance correct 🙂

  • Thank you for making my week. Dune, bread, Fatboy Slim and Christopher Walken. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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  • Question: I want to make this recipe but I have nut allergies. What do you recommend as an alternate for the teeth? It can’t be a Maker without suitable crysknife bits.

  • You are so cool. I too have that love for the 1984 movie.

  • Let the yeast blossom like a sand storm in the desert.

    Absolutely brilliant line.

  • I think this is going to be my new Christmas tradition.

    • Chris-Rachael Oseland

      If you do, I totally want to see photos! You know Shai’Huld would look adorkable wearing a little Santa cap. 😉

  • “Carbs are the thigh-killer. Only cellulite will remain”.

  • I loved reading the recipe because it is also a great piece of fan-fiction! As I love the books, enjoyed every single Dune reference!

  • Made it today and it is delicious!

    Can you check the glaze recipe, though? I think something is off–my glaze came out looking like brown water. 🙁

    • Chris-Rachael Oseland

      If you look at the first photo, you’ll see my bowl of glaze is also colored like the spice melange. That’s a feature, not a bug. If you prefer your glaze not to be spice colored, leave out the spice. 🙂

      To make yours a little spicy but much whiter, you can substitute milk for the water, cut the spices down, or both.

      If your glaze is too thin, just add more powdered sugar and keep whisking. This is actually true of any powdered sugar based glaze. They’re very forgiving and can be adjusted from a gloopy Cinnabon-esque thickness (not my preference) to a thin coat that’s just enough to keep in the moisture so your bread or pastry won’t go stale as quickly. I like mine in the middle – thin enough to be a dipping sauce but still thick enough to hold onto the surface.

      • I added another cup of sugar and it’s still brown and watery–it looks nothing like the picture.

        • Chris-Rachael Oseland

          Are you using powdered sugar? The picture you see here was made for Thanksgiving 2015. I’ve made the same recipe plenty of times (it’s a party hit).

          We might have a different idea of what constitutes “watery.” I like my glazes to be usable as dipping sauces. If you want something that you can sculpt like sugar putty, try cutting the water/milk down to 1-2 tbsp and increase until you reach your desired thickness.

  • A very awesome creativity….

  • I absolutely, completely, and utterly agree with you. My favorite movie and novel are both Dune, and no the differences between the two don’t bother me. I love both. I love the movie so much I’ve worn out a DVD of it. I even wrote an article on the subject (http://wordofthenerdonline.com/2013/09/no-sacred-cows-defending-dune/). This looks delicious.. and muad’dip… excellent.

  • Also “Bless the Maker and her spice bread. Bless the coming and going of it. May its passage fill my tummy.”

  • I may or may not make this … but I do share your fondness for DUNE, both the Frank Herbert novel and the David Lynch adaptation. I think the novel is one of the greatest sci-fi books ever written. And despite the liberties taken by David Lynch, I LOVE the Universe portrayed in the film.

  • it’s a geeky joy to read the instructions for this recipe!

    i will not fear to try this recipe. fear is the breadburner. i will face my fear and allow it to rise over me and out the vent. where the fear has gone, there will be nothing… only dunebread will remain.

  • Needs more Nutmeg: The real-world equivalent of Spice, right down to purported benefits, toxicity, etc.

    Well OK instead of Space it was the Ocean and instead of planets there were Islands but you get the idea.

  • How did you add the ‘segmented’ look to the final work after it was rolled up? Great idea and well written! Thanks for sharing

    • Chris-Rachael Oseland

      Careful slices with my crysknife. (Or a four inch curved paring knife.)

      If you’re not confident of your knife skills, set aside about 1/4 of the dough before rolling out the body of your worm. Follow all the other directions and set your worm aside. Roll out the reserved dough, cut it into strips about 1 inch/2.5 cm longer than the width of your sandworm and lay them along the length of the body, not quite touching. Roll him over so you can pinch the loose ends of the dough together, then roll him again so the seam is on his belly.

      I’ve tried it both ways. If the heat of the desert is making your home an oven, the dough wrapping technique is a good way to make sure the big tube of bread doesn’t overexpand in weird directions while rising. (Yeast can be tempermental.) I’ve accidentally made some interesting Chapterhouse Dune era worms that time of year. In winter, I recommend looking at it as a chance to practice your knife skills.

      In general, I personally prefer the knife, but I know some people find adding extra dough strips easier. Either way will get you a Great Maker with ridges you can sink your hooks under.

  • This is so awesome! I can’t wait to try this as a side for my “Chai” Hulud. 🙂

  • love love love dune. all three versions. loved the books and i even loved the sci-fi version mini-series with susan serandon who begged to have a part in it. i will be making this bread when i have spare time. not too different than the tea rings i make. can’t wait!!!

  • My current housemate and I both love Dune to bits (though movie-wise I prefer the miniseries because I have never forgiven David Lynch for making it RAIN ON ARRAKIS NO THAT IS JUST WRONG). I am so making this for us for Christmas.

  • Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kul Wahad!

    You, who are both Author of this article and Maker of these amazing creations, have indeed grabbed hold of the “Kiss-the-Maker” Hook of our Sietch and ride like a Leader of Men! I would be honored to be one of your Fedaykin… while sampling your delicious goodies. 😛

    Shai Hulud judges you worthy.

    And, P.S., I have almost precisely the same relationship with David Lynch’s film and Frank Herbert’s book as you describe. May your Water mingle with our Water. 🙂

  • We have every Dune book ever written, those from Frank Herbert and his son. We had to get another bookcase for them. They’re all hardbacks. I will definately make the Sandworm for the Christmas holidays.May you have a great holiday season.

  • My husband asked me to make this for him for his birthday, in lieu of a birthday cake. Both of us being Dune fans, I couldn’t resist. On top of it being an interesting artistic creation, your recipe is really delicious! I have a smaller oven than most, so I divided the dough in half and made two worms. He loves it, and I’m quite proud of myself! Here’s a pic of one of them on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0095009/photos/jkhoffman/23369904210/

    • Chris-Rachael Oseland

      I love it! (And happy birthday to your husband, a man who clearly has quality taste in literature!)

      Can I share the photo on social media? I love being able to prove real humans can make my recipes. 🙂

  • I pulled my great maker out of the oven to find his sides had burst open and he was left leaking his innards across the sand of Arrakis. Also his insides were raw and gooey.
    Any thoughts on where I went wrong? Wrapped too tight? kneaded wrong? Rolled too inconsistent?
    I don’t have much experience baking, so I may have botched it at any point.
    It does taste good though!


    • Chris-Rachael Oseland

      Shai Hulud is notoriously temperamental. I applaud your first attempt to sink the maker hooks into his back. You will be triumphant on your next worm ride!

      Diagnosing your sandworm from here on Geidi Prime, it looks like your exterior fully baked while the yeastie beasties within were still burping out gasses. They can be fickle. It also looks like you didn’t have the seam pinched closed and put on the bottom, though that could just be the picture. Next time, try the following:

      * Cut the yeast down by 25% (or, if you used heaping tbsp, try leveling them off first. A little extra yeast can make a big difference.)

      * Roll the dough *much* thinner. If you check out the process picture you’ll see mine took up my entire counter.

      * Make sure you insert the aluminum foil cone up front – that not only keeps his mouth open, but also lets a little interior gas escape while he bakes.

      * Curl him in a circle instead of wiggling in a line. A round pan (like a pizza tray) works best. The more kinks in his body, the less he tries to turn into a balloon. You’ll see I too had a little breakage in my straighter tremors worm. The more circular the final shape the more cooperative the worm.

    • Rabban found your worm first.

  • Serve with spice coffee: for one quart: your usual amount of coffee, ground: 1/2 tsp mahleb: 1/4 tsp grains of paradise: pinch of thai scented basil. Pestle spices, and to grounds, brew as usual.

    Cardamom also works well in the mix.

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  • Mine ended up a little bit burst, but not a lot. I should have cut the ridges deeper, but all in all, I’m super happy with how he turned out! I never work with yeast breads, so this was really exciting to have it turn out as well as it did.

    (Not sure how to post pics here. The pics of my whole process are on my Twitter. Here’s the final: https://twitter.com/Joi_the_Artist/status/680193348397731840 )

  • Best Sandworm I’ve ever seen you are truly a gifted baker.

    Got all the way to the bottom and realized you a Dr who fan as well
    I think I’m in love 🙂

  • it is so nice to know i am not alone in my geekiness. ❤️

  • Serve it with Shai-Huludafisk. 😉

  • I, too, am one of those rare creatures who thinks the novel “Dune” is arguably the greatest science fiction novel of all time …. and I ALSO loved the David Lynch film.

    I wonder if I can find a little plastic Baron Harkonnen figurine to bake into this. Whoever finds the Baron is declared the Kwisatz Hadarach.

  • I am sooooo geeking out right now! I was thrilled to find this sandworm bread recipe and am making it this weekend! I bought your Hobbit cookbook online. If all goes as planned, I’ll be ordering more books soon. Thank you for this blog! Just needed to share a little fan-girl love!

  • I just made this! It actually turned out pretty decent! Though the worm was MASSIVE! I think I need to roll the dough out a lot thinner next time 🙂 The spice must flow!

  • Existential Bread

    I just wanted to tell you: I made this bread a couple of days ago, and while mine is nowhere nearly as aesthetically appealing as yours, it’s still a great bread. I’ve been eating slices toasted under a broiler with a healthy dab of butter on. Thank you!

    Also, I made it because I’ve been thinking about Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation which is due to come out in December. One of my friends worked on that adaptation and sent the photo I took of my sandworm to Mr Villeneuve. So, your Great Maker has (indirectly) found his way to a maker of Dune.

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