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Friday, February 10, 2012

Baking Adventure: The Hunger Games - District 4 Bread

With The Hunger Games movie coming out next month, I just couldn't resist getting my Hunger Games fix by baking another district bread from the world of Panem! (You can also check out my rendition of District 11 Bread!) District 4's bread is described as salty, tinged green with seaweed, and fish-shaped.
The Hunger Games - District 4 Bread
For this bread, I debated over which type of seaweed to use. Nori... aonori... wakame... kombu... I didn't even realize how many different types of seaweed there were until I made this bread! If only Finnick were here to help me... But anyway! I ultimately settled on wakame, bought from my local Asian supermarket.
Cut Wakame Seaweed
I measured out about 1/3 cup of dried wakame and re-hydrated it for 20 minutes.
Dried Wakame Seaweed
Look how it expanded!
Re-hydrated Wakame Seaweed
I squeezed out some of the excess water and diced it into more manageable pieces.
Diced Wakame Seaweed
In the end, 1/3 cup of dried wakame was waaay too much for my recipe. I only used about 3/4 cup of the re-hydrated, diced wakame and still had about 1/2 a cup left over! (In case you were wondering, I used the leftover for soup.)

But enough about the seaweed! On to the bread!
The Hunger Games - District 4 Bread
Yield: approx. 8 fish-shaped rolls

  • 1 cup water (heated to 110 degrees F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup diced, re-hydrated wakame seaweed
  • 1 egg (beaten for egg wash)
  • sea salt (for garnish)
  1. Proof the yeast by mixing 1/4 cup of warmed water, white sugar, and yeast. If it foams and doubles in volume in 10 minutes, you know your yeast is active.
  2. Mix flour, salt, remaining water, and proofed yeast.
  3. Knead the dough until soft and elastic, adding oil one Tablespoon at a time. Add additional flour as needed.
  4. Knead in the wakame until evenly incorporated in the dough.
  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 the dough.
  8. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  9. Shape each dough piece into a fish shape. (See How to Make Fish-shaped Rolls for detailed instructions.)
  10. Cover the fish rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.
  11. Coat each fish with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.
  12. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown, rotating baking trays half way through.
The Hunger Games - District 4 Bread (inside)
The sea salt on the outside, chewy inside, and the crunchy crust reminded me of a pretzel, which was what I was going for! The wakame added a hint of "ocean-y-ness" to it, but wasn't overpowering. Also, my yeast was old (but still active!) so there was a hint of sourness to the dough. I considered using the water from reconstituting the wakame (since it was green and would have added a more noticeable green tinge), but decided against it because I was scared it would cause the bread taste too fishy. If you try it though, let me know how it tastes! I imagine that Finnick and the rest of District 4 would eat bread that's more fishy, but for people not accustomed to the taste of seaweed, my rendition would be a good introduction to seaweed. I also considered using some wheat flour in the bread, but since District 4 has Career tributes, I figured they could afford to use all white flour in their district bread. Overall, I am quite happy with my District 4 Bread! I can't wait for the Games to begin!


Jane said...

That looks amazing! I'm sure Finnick would be proud. Do you have to rehydrate the seaweed? I wonder what it would be like with just dried bits---more like herbs?

Michelle @ delishiono said...

Hey nice! I'm glad to see someone else made some District 4 bread too! I used aonori in my renedition. Great job!

Chrissy said...

@Jane: Thanks! For wakame seaweed, you have to rehydrate it. It can take on a lot of water so I imagine the bits would be hard and the bread would get dry if you didn't rehydrate the seaweed beforehand. If you use nori or aonori seaweed instead, you can sprinkle it like herbs since those types of seaweed don't need to be rehydrated. :)

@Michelle: Thank you! You did a great job too! Your District 4 Bread looks delish! :)

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