Episode 109

Peeta Bread (The Hunger Games)

HOW TO MAKE: Peeta’s Burnt Nut and Raisin Bread from The Hunger Games

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Ground cinnamon
- Brown sugar
- Vegetable Oil

Instructions:
Prepare the Yeast. This is called activating the yeast and is necessary to do in order for your dough to rise. First warm 1/2 a cup (120 mL) of water to 110-115 degrees F (43-46 Celsius). You can use a microwave on short bursts and a thermometer. It’s important you don’t overheat the water as it will kill the yeast and your final bread will not rise. Once you have warmed up the water, dump in half the packet of Active Dry Yeast and 1 tsp (5mL) of sugar. Mix together. After about 5 minutes, the concoction should have doubled in volume.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the whole wheat flour and milk powder. Next add the yeast, salt, sugar, eggs, butter, honey, and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of warm water (again, 110-115 degrees F or 43-46 degrees celsius).

Either mix this by hand or in a kitchenaid until combined. Once combined, add the remaining all purpose flour and continue to mix until a dough is formed. If using a kitchenaid, run for 2 minutes on first gear, then 6 minutes on second gear until you have well developed dough. If kneading by hand, knead for anywhere from 8-10 minutes until you’ve achieved the same result.

If using a KitchenAid, begin mixing on first gear while adding the cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins. Otherwise, mix these in by hand while continuing to knead.

Remove the dough and prepare a holding bin or bowl. Either cover with PAM or a little bit of vegetable oil and turn the dough inside until all sides are covered. Cover with a damp towel and let sit in a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

While the dough rests, create the filling and topping for the loaves.

The Filling: in a separate container add one part sugar, one part brown sugar, and ground cinnamon to taste. You’ll need enough to cover two whole loaves.

The topping: in a smaller container combine one part sugar and one part brown sugar. Mix together then add a little bit of vegetable oil, just enough to begin clumping the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to use your hands!

After an hour, revisit your dough. It should be about twice its original size. Punch down the dough (use a fist and literally just push down on the top) to expel the air. Remove the dough and split into two or however many loaves you wish to create.

Flour up a rolling pin and flatten the dough out to a rectangle. Brush water over the surface and sprinkle your filling over the dough, making sure to give it an even coating. Then slowly begin to roll up the dough by rolling it and continually pushing out the extra air with the palms of your hands. Continue to do this slowly until you reach the end of the loaf, then brush a little more water on top and close it off. Make sure the closed off area sits on the bottom of the dough when its resting.

On a separate baking pan with wax paper or bread pan, place your finished loaves. With your last egg, mix it together and use the brush to coat the tops of the loaves. You can also just use egg whites or milk depending on what you want your final product to be. Egg yolks will create a shiny golden crust, egg whites will make a shiny crisp crust, and milk or butter will make a softer crust. Once you’ve covered it, add the topping evenly across the top. Let the dough rest for another 30-40 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees Celsius). Place the bread inside for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot out of the oven!

Additionally, to create the burnt effect, turn on your stove and hold the bread over the flames until the top layer begins to blacken.

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