Monday, October 26, 2009

Someone Ate the Baby

Someone ate the baby
it's rather sad to say
Someone ate the baby
so she won't be out to play
We'll never hear her whiny cry
or have to feel if she is dry
We'll never hear her asking, "Why?"
Someone ate the baby

Someone ate the baby
it's absolutely clear
Someone ate the baby
'cause the baby isn't here
We'll give away her toys and clothes
We'll never have to wipe her nose
Dad says, "That's the way it goes."
Someone ate the baby

Someone ate the baby,
what a frightful thing to eat!
Someone ate the baby,
though she wasn't very sweet
It was a heartless thing to do
The policemen haven't got a clue
I simply can't imagine who
would go and (burp) eat the baby
Shel Silverstein

Ok, I confess, I ate the baby. But I had to. This baby is the bread of the month!

Yes, the Babes were making babies this month. I myself had four in the oven at one time. Well, three babies and one turtle. It is the modern age and good to diversify.

The host Babe this month is Gretchen Noelle of Canela and Comino and she had us whipping up Tanta Wawas, or Peruvian Bread Babies. Gretchen enjoyed a long time of working with the people of Peru and her heart is filled with rich memories of food, faces, and landscapes of this fascinating country. Check out her blog to find out how you can bake up these babies and be a Bread Baking Buddy with us this month!

These Tanta Wawas are a little dense and a touch sweet and quite delicious.

What are Tanta Wawas? They are delicate figures made of bread or cake, of different sizes, which represent children, animals or other forms depending on the region. The meaning comes from BREAD (PAN in Spanish & Tanta in Quechua) (BEBE in Spanish & Wawa in Quechua) or Bread in the form of a Baby. These breads are decorated with candies, raisins, anise, ceramics faces or glaze. People in the Andean regions give these breads as a gift during All Saints Day or Day of the Dead (November 1st & 2nd) which allows them to deal with familial relationships. On November 2nd, these bread babies are taken to the cemeteries in town so they can be left as offerings to those that have passed away and then are broken apart and eaten among the visitors. It is unknown when this Andean tradition began but it is known that from long ago, special breads were made and eaten in this manner. (Translated from viajeros.com)

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)
Makes 4 small

Ingredients:

sponge
1 egg
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of yeast

1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 cups of bread flour
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 cup of low fat milk
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg yolk (for painting) (I needed 2)


Directions:
1. In a bowl combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1 egg, 2 T water, pinch of yeast and 1 T of sugar. Let that sit for a few hours.
In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and sesame seeds. Sprinkle over the sponge.

2. Add the 2 eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture. Measure the milk, water and butter in a measuring cup. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, pour into the flour mixture. Mix well then turn out and knead for 10-15 minutes, using additional flour if necessary. Divide dough into 4 portions of 250g each. Form them into ovals. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

3. Stretch each dough ball into the form of a "fat baby". Place them on baking sheets which have been greased and floured, or lined with parchment or silicone. Cover with plastic and let the dough babies grow to three times their size. (Mine didn't grow, I popped them into the oven after an hour - they grew fine in the oven)

4. Preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Brush the egg yolks over the dough babies. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes.


There is something quite fun about eating a bread baby. As with my real-life children, I ate the ugly ones first. (Sorry kids!) Seriously, I ate the one to the left in the basket of two (scroll up) as he had an alarmingly misshapen head. I saved the cutest for last, the one that I swaddled. We did eat them head first, of course, no need for them to suffer.

As it was a similar shape, I also made this turtle. I haven't decided what to name him yet, what about Henry?
Either way, he's going in hubby's lunch tomorrow.

These babies have been Yeastspotted!