Homemade Bread Animals
When the breads are ready to be baked, mist the inside of the oven with a water spray. They are cooked if they have an all-around golden tinge and sound hollow when tapped on the base.
1 lb. 2 oz. all-purpose white bread flour
1 tsp. dried yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup tepid water
currants and pumpkin seeds for features and decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Put the flour in a bowl, make a well in the center and add the yeast and salt. Gradually add the water and stir with a fork to make a loose dough. Use your hands to form a ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead it for 8 to 10 minutes until it is elastic and pliable. Turn the dough gradually as you press and stretch it.
3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly floured bowl. Cover with a damp dishcloth and leave to rest in a warm place for one hour. Then shape the dough into animals. Tip: Covering dough with a damp dishcloth and leaving it to rest in a warm place allows the yeast in the dough to do its work and make the bread light. With a little warmth and moisture, the active ingredients in the yeast release carbon dioxide gas, which raises the dough.
4. Decorate the animals, put them on a lightly oiled baking tray and cover with a damp dishcloth. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.