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District 4 Rolls (The Hunger Games)


This franchise is almost a decade old now, so I'm not reviewing any part of it here. However, this series was the one that gave me the idea to invent recipes based on fictional food! There's a scene in one book where the districts send Katniss a gift of food: different kinds of bread unique to each of their locations and specializations. The bread from District 4 (fishing) was described as salty, fish-shaped, and tinted green with seaweed, and it sounded interesting and potentially delicious! Now, I've been making it for several years, usually at the request of assorted family members.

District 4 Rolls

I rarely bother making these fish-shaped anymore, in large part because my dough artistry leaves quite a bit to be desired, but feel free to try your hand at it!

Ingredients

  • dried seaweed (I use either three large sheets of nori or a handful of wakame; you can use more or less to taste.)

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) yeast

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for dipping, if desired)

  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

  • coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Instructions

Crumble the seaweed into a small bowl and add enough warm water to cover it. Soak for about half an hour. In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve yeast into lukewarm water; let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy. To the yeast mixture, add the sugar, salt, and 2 cups of flour; stir to combine. Check the seaweed for any large chunks and pull them apart, then add the seaweed and its water to the larger bowl. Add more flour in half-cup increments until the dough forms a ball. Finally, add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, mixing until each addition is absorbed. Knead the resulting dough for a few minutes, then shape into a ball and place under the upside-down bowl to rise for 30 minutes.

Deflate dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your hands to form a rope about a foot long, then twist it into a fish shape and smush slightly so it holds together. Grease a baking sheet and put six of the rolls onto it; leave the other six on a lightly floured surface or a piece of parchment paper so you'll be able to lift them easily later.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the rolls on the baking sheet with egg and sprinkle with sea salt to taste, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove first six rolls from sheet to cool and repeat with remaining six. Eat/serve! They're great alone or dipped in olive oil.

#bread #bakersbooksoriginal #fantasyfood #savory

© 2020 by The Baker's Books.

background: Jon Moore // Unsplash