Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shaping Dragon Bread for Michaelmas

     Everybody knows my conviction that no holiday is complete without complex carbohydrates. Michaelmas celebrates the coming of fall, and therefore includes lots of fall foods. If you have a faimly that enjoys things like goose, cooked carrots and raosted apples, you are in for a treat. While all those things sound amazingly delicious to me, there was no way that my todders would have allowed any of that to even come near the table. We could have gone with blackberries, but by the time September 29th rolled around, the devil had already spit into our blackberry bushes, so there couldn't be any blackberries in our celebration either.
     Thank God for sweet breads, amIright? We didn't have the ingredients necessary for the traditional Michael's Bannock, but we were able to touch on the same ideas by making Amish white bread. I especially like the idea of the rising bread as a symbol of waiting through a long winter. Plus, you get to work with the dough like it is playdough, and then eat dragon. Pretty super all around.
     I was able to find lot of resources on celebrating Michaelmas, including recipes for the on how to make the dough, but I wasn't able to find how to shape the bread into a dragon. Here is how I made mine.
I first broke the dough apart so both kids and I got our own chunk. Then I pulled off about a fourth of mine for the head and feet, and rolled the rest into a worm shape.

Next, I coiled the worm shape around with the skinny end inside the coil. I then shaped a bit (about 2/3) of the remaining dough into a tear drop.
Next, I shaped the last remainig bits of the dough for legs and arranged the head and legs on the pan.

I found a poking instrument and poked eyes and nose into the face. I poked pretty deeply to account for the rising in the oven.
With scissors, I cut into the bread to make ears and scales along his back. I made the cuts the deepest and longest in the center and smaller towards the ends. I made them deeper than I though looked right because I knew that the bread would rise and fill them out a pit. I cut a raisin in half and pushed them into the face. Again, deeper is better.

Ouf first try the bread rose quite a bit and the dragons looked a little like they had to go on weight watchers. I tried again and this time let the dough rise twice like the recipe suggested, and it turned out much better.

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