Not Martha

Happy Halloween

Last week I spent a lot of time making bread.

I was trying to make a Jack-o-Lantern Loaf by carving a face in the top just before baking. It never quite worked so I gave up on the idea for the time being, but it served as a fantastic crash course in bread baking.

The main problem was that when the dough was too wet I ended up with a smiley face, and when I made the dough stiffer it wouldn’t allow itself to be formed into a ball and the one face that did turn out ended up on a loaf that had propped itself up (like a laptop opening, or, you know, a book, those paper thingies).

I chose the recipe for Nigel Slater’s “A Really Good and Very Easy White Loaf” from this post at The Amateur Gourmet. There is nothing like a little taunting to get me to move into action in just under a year. The loaf turns out adorably rounded, and the very first comment says it resembles a pumpkin, which must have stuck with me until now because it was the first recipe I thought of when I decided to make jack-o-lantern bread.

The recipe as is calls for eight cups of flour which makes a very impressively sized loaf that would be perfect to casually display when you expect guests to come around. But, halving the recipe makes a loaf that is plenty big enough for two people. I suggest cutting it while it’s still warm inside and melt Halloween chocolate between slices, it is so good that way. Also, it’s the perfect vehicle for pumpkin butter.

I also decided to make an early Halloween dinner and made the Prosciutto version of an Awful Edible Flesh Worm.

I included sauteed kale as Swamp Greens and mashed cauliflower as Maggot Mash. (Cut cauliflower into pieces which you steam the crap out of, mash in a bowl and add a little butter and a little half-n-half, salt and pepper, surprisingly delicious.) Too bad it wasn’t a Farmers Market Wednesday, I was really hoping to find purple cauliflower so I could call it Gray Matter!

· comments [15] · 10-31-2007 · categories:food · halloween ·

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ryan // Oct 31, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    all of it looks delicious

  • 2 nazilam // Oct 31, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    That is exactly what we’re having for dinner, but I think a little butternut squash for beta-carotene!

    stay warm, its chilly out there…

  • 3 Eviedee // Oct 31, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    My what lovely loaves you have!

  • 4 Vanessa // Nov 1, 2007 at 8:05 am

    I just wanted to let you know the TJ Maxx up in Edmonds (on 99 and 236th) just got in a huge shipment of enameled cast iron skillets and French ovens! They have a variety of brands and styles, in case you’re looking for anything else to round out your collection. (We picked up a 2-qt french oven for $50!)

  • 5 Lindsay // Nov 1, 2007 at 10:17 am

    what about using extra dough to make the face? ive never done this, but ive seen it in several books. you can add braids and decorations this way, so maybe you could add a face, though it wouldnt have a “carved” effect i suppose.

  • 6 megan // Nov 1, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Lindsay – Yup, I was going for the carved look.

  • 7 Melanie // Nov 1, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Great idea re: the bread!

    And the pork, which made me fairly green around the gills, looks very tasty plated.

  • 8 Kristi // Nov 1, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    I love how you carved the face into the bread. The dinner looks so delicious.

  • 9 Raquel // Nov 1, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Your flesh-eating worm really made my toes curl. And after I thought I’d forever blocked the memory of some woman on TV who had a freakin parasitic worm in her head. Ay. Anywho, bread! Delicious! Awesome blog.


  • 10 ContemplativeCajun // Nov 2, 2007 at 5:10 am

    I think that is the most gut-wrenching dinner description that I have ever heard, but it sure looks tasty on the plate.

  • 11 Summer M // Nov 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Mmmmm, I love homemade bread. :)

  • 12 holly // Nov 3, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    ooh! someone else that experiments with food for halloween fun!

    one year i made a “brain” bread, i rolled lots of “snakes” out of dough and then swirled them around on two small connected buns until i had shaped a brain. after letting it rise again and baking, it turned out Perfect. like a real human baked brain….

  • 13 megan // Nov 3, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Holly – Oh my gosh that is brilliant!!

  • 14 katie // Nov 4, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    love that bread! such a great idea!

  • 15 Talina // Nov 5, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    I have never heard of the bread thing before… How cool! Next year I will have to try it.. I have a hard time with any bread that is not done in the bread maker… ;-o

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