Baking Day!

I have made myself a little resolution since my kids went back to school two weeks ago to try to bake on Wednesdays.  On their first day of school I made snickerdoodles and last week I made a loaf of banana bread and a loaf of pumpkin bread.  One for each of the girls because they, of course, don’t like the same kind.  Today I decided to do a little project with the kids.  I made my Mother’s Sweet Christmas Wreath Bread (minus the Christmas and wreath part) and instead we made a Turtle!  I got the turtle idea from a magazine.  This could be made with any kind of bread dough.  After you have kneaded the dough and it has risen once.  Punch it down and make the pieces for the turtle.  You will need the body, a head, 2 arms (do turtles have arms?), 2 legs and a little tail.  Assemble the pieces on a greased baking sheet.  You can make a criss cross pattern with a knife on the shell and use raisins for eyes.  Cover the dough and let it rise again (approx. 30 min.).  Prior to baking make an egg wash by whisking an egg white.  Brush the dough lightly with the wash and then bake according to your bread directions. 

One of the things I will do with this blog is be very honest about how things come out.  The turtle bread is first of all adorable.  Kaylee and I had a good laugh at how big his head is.  The bad news is I decided to try some new things with the bread recipe.  Sorry, Mom!  I decided to use unbleached white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour.  The bread turned out, but it didn’t have the same texture and sweetness that it usually does.  You live and you learn.  Kaylee wanted me to promise never to make it without the all purpose flour.  The other problem I had with this might have been due to the flour or the shape of the turtle but I cooked the bread the same time I usually do and it looked done when I took it out of the oven.  Unfortunately, a short while later most of the turtle back caved in.  😦  He was not done cooking.  I probably could have made two smaller turtles and that would have helped with the cooking time also.  This was a really fun project and I will definately do it again.  Sometimes I need to remember to not mess with a good thing, like my mom’s recipe.

Sweet Christmas Wreath Bread (or as my Mom’s note says “Anytime wonderful bread”!) – Dora Olsen

1 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 pkgs yeast

9 cups flour (all purpose white)

2 cups milk

1 cup butter

3 eggs

Combine first 3 ingredients and 2 1/2 cups flour.  Beat.  Heat milk and butter to 120 degrees (I use a candy thermometer).  Mix together with sugar mixture and beat 2 minutes.  Reserve 1 egg white.  Beat in 2 eggs and 1 yolk plus 2 1/2 cups flour.  Beat 2 minutes.  Stir in 3 cups flour.  Knead 10 minutes.  Add remaining flour as needed.  Put in greased bowl.  Raise 1 hour or until double.  divide and shape for wreaths or mounds, etc. Makes 2.  Cover and raise 1 hour.  Beat egg white and brush on top.  Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 25-30 minutes.  Tip – Dark trays will brown bottoms too quick.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. adailyportion
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 21:40:57

    Love this Jill– such a fun idea– and your mom’s recipe looks great.

    I like that you;re blogging.


  2. Kristin
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 21:55:11

    I do love the turtle 🙂 I can’t wait to see what else you have on Baking Day. Great idea!


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