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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Baking Adventure: The Hunger Games - District 11 Bread

Happy New Year's Eve! For my final post of 2011, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate it to the book series I recently got hooked on - The Hunger Games! Food plays such a prominent role in the books. Bread, specifically, has an important role with a specific type of bread representing each of the 13 districts. Katniss described District 11's bread as "made of dark ration grain and shaped in a crescent. Sprinkled with seeds." Today, I bring to you my rendition of District 11's bread.
The Hunger Games: District 11 Bread
Inspired by Hand-Kneaded Whole Wheat Bread from Cook's Illustrated
Yield: about 14 crescents

  • 2 1/3  cups water (warmed to 120 degrees F)
  • 1 package of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4  cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 2 3/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 1  tablespoon sesame (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 egg (beaten for egg wash)
  1. Mix water, yeast, molasses, oil, salt, ground flax seed, and oatmeal in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix 2 3/4 cup of wheat flour with the all purpose flour in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of wheat flour for dusting later.
  3. Add 3 1/2 cups of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix and knead in the remaining flour mixture until the dough becomes soft and elastic.
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in volume (about 1 hour).
  6. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Punch down dough.
  8. Divide dough into 4-ounce pieces.
  9. Form each piece into a triangle and roll into a crescent shape. Start from the wide end of the triangle and roll toward the tip.
  10. Cover the crescents with plastic wrap and let rise until almost double in size (about 20 minutes).
  11. Coat the crescents with egg wash and sprinkle with sunflower and sesame seeds.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating baking pan half way through.
The Hunger Games: District 11 Bread
The crescents came out dense and chewy - almost bagel-like. The oatmeal, ground flax seed, and wheat flour probably contributed to that. It was tasty though and very filling. I imagine it would be great sustenance for the citizens working in the fields of District 11.

I know The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook recently came out and I can't wait to get my hands on it to try the unofficial District 11 bread (amongst other recipes), but for now, I'm content with my rendition. As the new year approaches, may the odds ever be in you favor. ^_~

Update (2/10/2012):  You may also be interested in my rendition of District 4 Bread.


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