I have a thing about food shaped like animals, especially during summer when I know projects like this can keep La Jolla Girl busy. Though I’ve always been a fan of AllRecipes, I’ve started using it more now that I have a shiny, new Windows Phone.
I popped “animal food” into search and this darling bread recipe popped up. Within a few minutes, we were baking bread–surprisingly good bread. Though his back is a little cracked this recipe is a keeper because it took us just a few minutes to make, you can mold it into different shapes, or hollow it out for the cutest bread bowl ever.
It saves well for excellent toast or french toast on the morning after. As long as you have a large, round middle for a body, you can probably shape this into any animal you like.
Kids can make this with assistance because there’s hot liquid involved. Plus, an accidental spillage of yeast would be most inconvenient. Who wants a lopsided turtle?
After you allow the liquids to cool and put all the ingredients in a large bowl, kids can dive in and knead. The dough is sticky, so make sure their hands are floured or a little wet. Or, you do it.
But what they’ll love is rolling the balls and putting the turtle together. Our dough was sticky enough that the turtle stuck together without much effort.
I can’t get over how cute his mouth and nose are. The bread cooked more or less perfectly and was delicious warm. For such a simple recipe, I was blown away.
- 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 1/2 cup hot milk (we used nonfat with a generous tbsp of butter)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Two raisins, olives, M&Ms or whatever you'd like to use for eyes
- Mix sugar and yeast into the warm water. Let sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes creamy.
- Warm milk in a saucepan. Once it starts to bubble, add in butter. Cool to lukewarm temperature (we put ours in the freezer for a few minutes).
- Put 2 cups of flour, salt, egg, lukewarm milk mixture and yeast mixture into a large bowl. Mix.
- Add remaining cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Knead for 5 or so minutes, until smooth.
- Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough into seven pieces. One round 2 inches in diameter, five rounds 1 inch in diameter and the remainder in one large round.
- Place the large round on a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Shape four of the 1 inch rounds into feet and one into a tail for the turtle. Shape the two inch round into a head. Our dough was sticky enough to attach them with no problem. However, if yours isn't, attach each piece by flattening the end that attaches to the body, by wetting it slightly with water and pinching it under the turtle's body.
- Press raisins into the turtle's head for eyes.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
The thing I like about the AllRecipes app on the Windows Phone is that you can pin the recipe to the phone’s start page. So, if you’re in the grocery store, you can quickly check the recipe to make sure you have all of the ingredients without searching the internet or pulling up a tiny email.
We’ll definitely be shaping this bread recipe into other creatures. And, I would serve it to guests. Enjoy!
See also: An Easy M&M Ice Cream Recipe