Turtle bread

flour, 5 cups
salt, 1 tablespoon
sugar, 1/4 cup
eggs, 2
milk, 1 cup
butter, 1/4 cup
dry yeast, 2 packages
water, 1/4 cup
sugar, 1 teaspoon

1. Heat butter and milk until butter melts.
2. Allow to cool to room temp.
3. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until just blended.
4. Dissolve yeast in water and one teaspoon of sugar.
5. Add eggs, milk/butter mixture, and yeast to food processor.
6. Mix until ball of soft dough forms.
Christmas tree bread. December 2012.
7. Place ball in bowl.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hr.
9. Shape into a turtle (1 large round ball for body, 4 small balls for legs, and 1 medium ball for head) or make many balls and arrange in the shape of a turkey or Christmas tree.
10. Allow to rise for another hour.
11. Brush with beaten egg.
12. Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until browned,
13. Tap on bread. It’s done with it sounds hollow. 

the story
When my sister was in kindergarten, her class "made' Thanksgiving dinner (allegedly) Pilgrim-style. While thankfully no one set five year olds to work basting a turkey, someone did decide that they were well-suited to make butter from scratch, since this involved shaking a jar of cream and other ingredients for hours.

The punchline: the butter never solidified, though one little girl  was apparently happy to douse her mashed potatoes in extra cream. 

For years afterwards, every Thanksgiving, my sister baked turtle bread (from a recipe discovered in a children's cookbook - we think) and made, successfully, homemade butter. Several years ago, we realized that everyone preferred to eat the crustier head and feet of the turtle, and the idea to make the whole loaf out of rolls stuck together was born. Soon after, the turtle evolved into a turkey, which devolved into a tree. Still very tasty though.

The intrepid baker and butter-maker, age 10. Christmas 1993.
Sometime after this photo, the sheer number of ornaments was pared down considerably.

No comments:

Post a Comment