Friday, January 30, 2009

Grab Bag Friday: Turtle Bread

We had another snow day this week. When I was a kid, I used to actually feel *sorry* for the kids who lived in warm places like Florida and California...they never got to have any snow days! Snow days were like a gift from heaven. My sisters and brother and I would build snow tunnels (yes, the snow was *that* deep and packable), or stay in our pajamas all day, or most often, bake.

One year, my brother got on a Turtle Bread kick. He found the recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook, and he'd make turtle after turtle (and we would gobble them up faster than he could make them!) We loved to watch the bread rise, taste the raw dough (I know, gross, huh?), smell the bread cooking in the oven, and we especially loved to eat the little turtle feet.

This is a great introductory bread recipe for kids. Even if you're one of those poor souls who don't get snow days, I hope you'll enjoy making it:

Turtle Bread

2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 package quick active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 egg
2 raisins

In large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar and salt; set aside.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat water, milk and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 125°F to 130°F; stir into yeast mixture. Stir in egg. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and springy. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Shape a 2-inch piece of dough into a ball for turtle’s head. Shape 4 walnut-size pieces of dough into balls for feet. Shape 1 walnut-size piece of dough into tail. Shape remaining dough into ball for turtle body; place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Attach head, feet and tail by placing 1 end of each under edge of body to secure. Press raisins into head for eyes. Cover and let rise in warm place 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 400°F. Make 1/4-inch-deep circular cut around top edge of body, then make crisscross cuts in center to look like a turtle's shell. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Refrigerating dough is not recommended.

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