Introduction: Jam-filled "bleeding" Pig

As a university student living miles--approximately 8509 miles--away from home, I always look forward to the holidays when I can go back to see my family, and when that time comes, I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen baking up a storm.

Summer is the principal time during which I can refine my baking skills, as hectic school schedules don't permit me to perfume the house with the aroma of freshly baked goods, a much needed aroma that has the potential to calm my nerves before the exams.

In the summer of 2010, one of the things I focused on was making bread from scratch, a notion that used to send chills down my spine. I had heard of the horror stories of rock-hard loaves better suited for bludgeoning a burglar rather than for hedonistic consumption. The task was daunting, but I knew it was time.

Many spoonfuls of stubborn yeast and numerous bags of flour later, I did it with my own bare hands. I now felt comfortable and confident making my own bread.

But I wanted to take it to the next level. This Instructable is my result. It is a jam-filled loaf of bread shaped into a pig. When you slice into it, it will have you squealing like a surprised piglet!

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When it's time to return to school, I say my sad goodbyes, and lovingly leave my parents with a freezer full of baked goods and a hefty electricity bill.


tl;dr

Make a jam-filled loaf in the form of a pig. Cut into it for a "bloody" surprise. Great for Halloween.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Supplies

This recipe will yield two loaves that are soft and fluffy like air, but not so light that you feel as if you were eating nothing, a familiar experience when consuming highly processed store-bought bread.

To make the jam-filled bread, you will need:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter/margarine/shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
4 chocolate chips
strawberry/another red colored jam

a long pair of chopsticks, or something of the like
scissors
rolling pin
food syringe (if you do not have one, I will show you how to make one)

If you only want to make one loaf, halving the recipe is easy:
1/2 & 1/8 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon melted butter/margarine/shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2-2 cups all-purpose flour
2 chocolate chips
strawberry/another red colored jam

Supplies for the food syringe:
ruler
scissors
wire cutters
lotion dispenser (refer to picture)
tape
rubber band
small heavy-duty Ziploc bag

Step 2: Proofing the Yeast

In a bowl, mix the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar in the warm water. Make sure the sugar and yeast dissolve in the water. If the yeast clumps up, pinch them to dissolve them. Let it sit until foamy.

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NOTE: The written instructions pertain to the full recipe, while the following pictures show me making only half of the recipe. I had tried--and failed--to make a different animal the previous day using the full recipe, so I didn't want to waste my ingredients in case this trial didn't turn out right.

Step 3: Making the Dough

While the yeast is proofing, get started on the dough.

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure even distribution.

Melt the butter/margarine/shortening in the microwave and add it to the flour mixture. Then add in the yeast mixture. Stir until a dough starts to form.

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NOTE: The written instructions pertain to the full recipe, while the following pictures show me making only half of the recipe. I had tried--and failed--to make a different animal the previous day using the full recipe, so I didn't want to waste my ingredients in case this trial didn't turn out right.

Step 4: Kneading the Dough

Turn the dough out onto your work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding in more flour as needed to create a soft, semi-sticky dough.

Being the novice baker that I am, I can never get it to be as smooth and elastic as I've seen it is supposed to be. However, I still manage to make some pretty decent bread. My tired arms agree.

Step 5: The Rise of the Living Dough

Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Most people follow the step mentioned above, but this is where I deviate a bit. I create a little setup using a large pot, a steamer stand, and some warm water--heated on the stove top--to create a cozy warm environment for the dough. I place the bowl containing the dough on top of the steamer stand inside the pot and close the lid.

The water will condense, and I don't know if that is good or bad, but I am a novice baker, and am prone to doing these sorts of things.

Refer to the pictures to see the novice baker at work.

If you think this is a good idea, deviate with me!

Step 6: Food Syringe - Supplies

What to do while you wait for your dough to rise? If you don't have a food syringe, this would be a good time to make one. If you already have one, skip to step 10.

You have 1 hour on the clock. Your time starts now.

Supplies:
ruler
scissors
wire cutters
lotion dispenser (refer to picture)
tape
rubber band
small heavy-duty Ziploc bag

Step 7: Food Syringe - Cutting the Tube From the Lotion Dispenser

With a ruler, measure out the length of tube from the lotion dispenser that you want for your syringe.

After intense deliberation, I settled on 10 cm. Cut the tube with a pair of wire cutters. Rinse out any residual lotion that may still be inside the tube.

Pick one end of your now shortened tube (flip a coin if you have trouble deciding upon which end), and clip it on a slant with the wire cutters to make a tapered end.

NOTE: The tapered end is for poking into the bread, but I later found it unnecessary for reasons that you will see. However, go ahead and make the tapered end, because it may come in useful in the future if you bake smaller animals.

Step 8: Food Syringe - Ziploc Bag

Take a heavy-duty Ziploc bag, and, with a pair of scissors, snip off what may seem to be a ridiculously small piece from one corner. We want a snug fit for the tube.

Step 9: Food Syringe - Assembling the Parts

Stick the tube through the hole in the bag from the inside going out (it's easier this way). Push the tube out until you've got around 2 cm left inside the bag. Tape the tube and the bag together.

I tried to be neat with my taping. It did not go well.

Finally, tie a rubber band around the taped area for extra security.

Step 10: Initial Shaping of the Dough

When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto your work surface and punch it down. If you are in a bad mood, you can certainly take these instructions literally. Otherwise, just flatten it gently to get rid of the air. I use my knuckles to do this.

If you're doing the full recipe, you could keep the dough in one piece, thereby making a very large pig, or you could divide it in half and make a couple.

As I halved the recipe, I kept my dough in one piece.

After punching down the dough, form it into a short, oblong shape and pinch off a little less than 1/3 of it (I had pinched off 1/3, which was too much dough). This small piece will become the snout and ears of your pig.

Shape your larger piece of dough into a ball. Make sure you do it nicely, because you won't touch this piece any further.

Place the two balls of dough onto a baking tray and cover with a dry towel. Let it rise for 30-35 minutes.

Step 11: Final Shaping of the Dough

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

Pinch off a bit of dough from your smaller ball of dough. This will become the snout. Flatten it with your fingers, and shape it into an oval. Then, stick it onto your larger dough ball, creating the first inkling of your pig's face.

Take the remainder of your dough and thinly roll it out with a rolling pin. With a pair of scissors, or a really sharp knife, cut out two small triangles for the ears and place them in their proper locations.

Keep in mind that as bread bakes, it expands, so if you don't make really flat ears from the raw dough, your pig will sprout two large, unattractive growths on his poor head. Now how will he ever find a mate?

Step 12: Finishing Touches to the Dough

With a pair of scissors, create two little snips in the snout for the nostrils.

For the eyes, take two chocolate chips and poke them into the dough above the snout.

Bake in the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack.

Step 13: Creating a Pocket Inside the Loaf

In order to fill the loaf with the jam, we must first create a pocket--a hollow space--inside the loaf. We will create this pocket by sticking a chopstick into the end of the pig.

Gather your pair of long chopsticks, or something similar. Take one chopstick and hold it beside the loaf to measure how far you will stick the other chopstick in. It would be tragic if you poked it through the front and gave your pig a third nostril.

Still holding the first chopstick against the loaf as a guideline, insert the other chopstick.

Gently sweep the chopstick inside the loaf from side to side. You may also tilt the chopstick up to create a larger pocket, but that means that you will have to fill it with more jam if you want a proper ooze when the loaf is cut. Also, be careful to not squish and deform your loaf while you do this. I wasn't careful enough, so now my pig is requesting for some Botox.

NOTE: If you recall, I mentioned previously that the tapered end of our makeshift food syringe was unnecessary. This is because inserting the chopstick creates the hole, so there is no need to use the syringe to puncture the loaf. On the other hand, if you decide to make smaller loaves, you can abandon the use of chopsticks and just use the tapered syringe.

Step 14: Jam Filling

Now that you have created a pocket  in the loaf, it's time to retrieve your red colored jam, along with your food syringe.

Pile the jam into the food syringe. If you made your own with the Ziploc bag, I find it best to roll down the opening of the bag while you spoon the jam in. That way, you can avoid a sticky mess around the zipper and opening. Squeeze out the air and seal.

Insert the syringe into the hole (created by the chopstick) in the loaf and squeeze to fill. You will be glad that you used the heavy-duty Ziploc bag.

If you want the jam to ooze out when you cut the loaf in half, fill up the entire pocket. You will know when it is full when jam starts coming out of the hole. (My pig did not ooze satisfactorily because I had made the pocket too big. However, the last picture on this page, which shows my first failed attempt, demonstrates what you're aiming to achieve.)

Clean up any mess you may have made on the crust of the loaf.

I did not specify a quantity for the jam, as that depends on how big of a pocket you have created.

Warming up the jam in the microwave helps to make filling the loaf a bit easier.

Step 15: Le Fin

And there you have it, your very own jam-filled pig. Be proud!

Present your lovable creation on a white plate garnished with a nice serrated knife on the side.

Comments

author
rabid_engineer (author)2010-10-25

Amateur baker here.

I regularly use warm water to increase rising speed; and I have often found that the dough gets dry on the outside.

I would say that as long as there is no excessive buildup of condensation around the dough (as that will impact the amount of water in the dough, and thus its consistency and the all-important eating experience), it should be better, because the dough is kept uniformly moist.

I'd be interested what professional bakers would say about this.

Other than that, I like the bleeding pig! Although the soap syringe does seem a bit risky.

author
sholt3 (author)rabid_engineer2011-07-07

Hey every one i don't know! I just happened across this instuctibles when i felt like making jam filled bread and so read the comments. Now i am not a professional pastery chef but i did take a few lessons from people who do have degrees in cooking so i though i would share wat the ideal 'condiontions' for raising bread are.

First off once you have your bread at the right consitency (should beable to poke it and have it go back to original form) you are suposed to grease it and place it in a bowl to rise, my teachers told me to cover it with a damp cloth (preferably a cheese cloth) and leave it in a warm place. you should let it rise for one hour and then punch it, kneed it some more if you want. let it rise again for another hour. Thats what they told me. Also Becarefull with how hot the water is, too hot kills the yeast and then its useless... sob... so many yeast pakets... I sugest Rapid rise yeast becasue warm water isn't nessisary but can still be used. Um i hope this helped answer any woundering anyone may have had.

author
sholt3 (author)sholt32011-07-07

Ah forgot to mention my opinion on the steam thing lols... well i wouldn't do it only because it may cook the bread slightly if it gets too hot... but otherwise i see no problem, my teachers never said anything against it so oh well have at your shortcut.

author

How does a soap syringe sound risky? It would just clean the bacteria lol

author

Well, I'd be worried about soap contamination of the jam, but then again, I'm paranoid.

author

You should be, you did get rabies.

author

I vaguely recall now... I think I read it in Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" about how a faster rise affects the taste of the bread because you don't give it enough time for complex flavors to develop. Something like that. So we may just be losing out a bit on taste by doing this method.

author

That is good to know. I'll compare the two next time I bake.

author
nicnak (author)2010-11-06

thats soooo cute, im going to make one, perfect for a floor picnic

author
ducktape.mac (author)2010-10-31

hey this is a really good idea!

author
Kryptonite (author)2010-10-24

That's so cool! Nice job on everything, the complete hand done side of it makes it even cooler. You can really tell that it's a pig from your decals, looks brilliant! 5*

author

Decals??? I think I missed something...

author

Decals are like stickers for your car, pretty much decorations you stick on. I'm referring to the ears and nose being "decals", make it look all prettyful!

author

Yes, I know what decals are, I just didn't see them being used anywhere in this recipe. The ears & nose are hunks of dough, and the eyes are chocolate chips. It seems you're putting a bit of a twist on the word "decal", making it something of a synonym for "detail".  Quite creative wordsmithing.

Either way, "decals" or "details", I agree wholeheartedly with your overall assessment of the project.  Brilliant!!!

author

He he, thanks. I didn't know until about 30 seconds ago that decals weren't "decorations" they were vinyl stickers. :D

author
zazukain (author)2010-10-24

I wouldn't eat it, it's too cute.

author
sunshiine (author)2010-10-24

Sweet!

author
RobFS1 (author)2010-10-23

Lord of the Flies anyone?

author
jen7714 (author)2010-10-23

Great idea!! It looks great and you've written a great instructable. I will have to try making it sometime!

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