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Bread of 2004

02-20-04: The How To on making mini bread. 


The trick to making the bread as I've been doing is to mix up a batch of melted cheddar cheese mix. That's translucent, yellow, red, and a touch of brown. Test out tiny bits of clay to do this mix. 

Everyone up on making color cards?
Keep track of your color mixing with leaving yourself a clay bit trail to follow should you want to replicate it.

Ok, so using small measured bits of clay do a mix until it looks like melted cheddar cheese. Do not add white for we loose the translucence and we need that for glaze on the turkey, for the toasty top of the bread, for peanut butter and melted cheddar cheese on everything else.

Take white clay and mix some of that melted cheddar cheese mix in it to get a yellowish/brownish/mostly white mix for the inside of egg bread. 

Take a sheet of the cheddar cheese mix, a sheet of the yellowish dough mix and press them together at the widest setting of the pasta press.

Then take a sheet of white, press that to the two tone sheet, placing the white sheet against the yellowish mix side. So you have three color layers where the colored layers are thinner than the white.

For an instant hamburger bun, use a small kemper circle cutter tool, cut out a circle. The top will be that cheddar cheese mix, the side will be shockingly white. Now here's the smearing trick... smear that cheddar cheese mix from the top down the side of the circle, it'll soften the edge, the translucent will smear being darker towards the top and lighter towards the edge. You'll see, it looks toasted. Here's an old picture of the process, just a snapshot of trims to go with this explanation.

Now for stuff like the braided bread you slice a length of the three tone sheet, 1cm or 1/3rd inch wide and how ever long you can manage. Then smear the melted cheddar cheese mix from the top down the sides of this length of clay. You'll see it looks toasted. Once the sides are smeared, cut into sections and braid your bread.

Making muffins and buns and sliced top bread all we're doing is slicing through that three tone sheet getting down to the white of the bread dough, ope the cuts for bread rises and all cuts open up like that. Then smear the sides of the cut, but leave the deepest part of the cut lighter, so we have a sense of depth going on. 

For donuts, glazed spirals, those Krispy Kream sort of items, make a bullseye with the three tone sheet around a center of white or yellowish clay and reduce until you have a long snake that's the thickness of your donut. I rolled up one end to see how much I need to make a donut shape, unrolled it and cut, I used that as a measure for the other donuts. Connect the ends of the sections and you have donuts. For chocolate topped, press Burnt Umber at the thinnest setting on the pasta press. Cut a circle out of it and lay it on a finished donut, poke the center and smooth the edges so it looks a bit drippy and you're done. 

So test that melted cheddar cheese mix on a small but of white and see how it gives a baked look. 

The breads in the pictures from last night are still going to have one more thing happen to them. The braided bread is going to get a brushing with a bit of brown eye shadow. The bread sliced on the top is going to get shaved chalk pencil that's white to simulate that flour dusting bread sometimes has on the top. 

It took me two years to find a good bread trick. I've been sharing it for three years. It just never seemed to catch on and it's such an easy technique and the effect is striking. 

For folks who only go to the tute list on my sites, you're missing out on the current evolution of these techniques. You're only seeing what happened, not what's happing, ya know? I do have a link to the old tutes on bread and if you go backwards in time you'll see the bread looks more and more primitive.

The first thing I made with polymer clay was Pan de Muertos for Day of the Dead. It must be a primitive/beginner clayer thing going on.

I got this book on Bread on sale at Borders Books. You know those over sized books for $5.00 with tons of pictures. I love those books. I got food books on Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Barbecue, Bread, Cookies, Salads, you name it, for $5.00 each with all those color pictures they are a great guide for making mini food and getting the colors right in the clay mix. If you don't have a book store or money even if the books are on sale, check out flyers, magazines, other sources and cut out pictures and make a scrap book of food pictures to help with making mini food. I find watching the Food Channel on cable to be a source of inspiration and I also learn how to cook real food better at the same time. 

Whew... see what happens when I disappear for a day or so... I resurface with tiles filled with mini stuff and a ramble under my belt. 

So I best send this out, my coffee cup is empty. 




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