Ok-I am a total nerd with this one.
When people first told me to read the Hunger Games series, I asked what the series was about. When I was told, I usually told them how that sounded like something I would never, ever read. Well, I reluctantly picked it up at a certain point, if only to get all the Hunger Games addicts off my back and could say, “Yes! I read it. It was really no good.”
Boy, was I wrong.
I totally jumped on the Hunger Games train and kept going. After book one, I demolished book two, only to stay up all night and read book three.
And, finally, last night, I went to see the movie. With my husband, nonetheless, whom I forced to read the series as well.
The movie was good, the books were better, as usually is the case. I thought it funny that when my babysitter arrived for the evening to watch the kids while my husband and I went out on a very exciting Monday evening movie date…:) she was so thrilled that I was going to see this movie and couldn’t wait to talk to me about it when I got home. I felt really young for a moment, until that moment passed…then I felt really old.
Regardless, this is where my nerdiness comes in. Brace yourselves.
I, as the name of the book suggest, was interested to find so many references to food. Some, made my stomach turn, others, made me wonder. Remember the bread from District 11 that was sent to Katniss that was originally intended for Rue? “…dark ration grain, shaped in a crescent..sprinkled with seeds…”. I remember thinking how good that sounded. Yes, I am thinking of food even when I am reading a book about kids playing a game to their death…strange, I know.
It sounded so good, I had to try it out. I noticed there were a few recipes online for it, but I sort of combined them all, changed a few things, and made m y own. Believe me. I wouldn’t exactly play a round against Katniss in the arena for this bread, but I have to admit, it is pretty darn good!
Okay now…don’t judge. I love to read and I love to cook. Despite how nerdy it might be, sometimes those two worlds just collide! Remember those days, when you looked at your mom sporting holiday shirts and santa earrings and you swore you would never do something so ridiculous like buy holiday tshirts (no matter how “cool” they try to make them at Target) or make theme food for the books you read? Well, it is called literally eating your words.
Hunger Games Bread
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons table salt
4 tblsp flax seed, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds, divided
4 tblsp pumpkin seeds, divided
4 tblsp sesame seeds, divided
2 tblsp uncooked oats, divided
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups hard white wheat flour
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2-3 cups bread flour
1 egg white
2 tablespoons cold water
In a small bowl or larger liquid measuring cup, combine the warm water and the sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast, stir to combine, and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until slightly puffy and bubbly.
Meanwhile, while yeast is sitting, combine 2 tablespoons of each of the seeds in a small skillet, reserving 2 tablespoon each of sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds (you will use these later for the top of the rolls). Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant golden. Be very careful not to burn! They toast quickly, so watch them carefully.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, combine the buttermilk, melted butter, honey, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix well. In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, and the toasted seeds and then add to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add 2-3 cups of bread flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is not sticky and is a stretch, smooth consiststency. When the dough is the right texture, let it knead in the mixer for 5 minutes.
While the dough is kneading, spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. When the dough is done kneading, turn the dough into the bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, lightly flour a work surface. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
When the dough is done rising, transfer it to the work surface and divide it in half. Roll each half into a circle about 12″ in diameter and about 1/4″-1/2″ thick. Using a pizza or dough cutter, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges.
Starting with the wide edge of each wedge, roll down to the point in a crescent shape and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough is in a crescent shape and placed on the baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced out a lot. They will rise one more time and puff up in the oven as well. Cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together the egg white and water. Mix the reserved seeds, salt and the oats in a small bowl. When the rolls are done rising, carefully brush the tops of each of them with the egg white mixture. Dip the top of each roll in the seed/oat/salt mixture. Bake the rolls 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with butter. Makes 16 rolls.