My biggest obstacle in this ugly bread mission would be my ability to bake wonderful, beautiful, delicious bread. Hey, it's not bragging if it's true! Now, if the contest involved making an ugly cake, I'd be a shoo in! I have loads of practice with ugly cakes because I lack the patience and finesse to decorate a cake in any sort of attractive way. Yummy, yes. Pretty, no.
Which gave me an idea. All this thought of ugly bread and ugly cake reminded me of one of my all-time favorite blogs: Cake Wrecks. If you're not familiar with it, the folks at Cake Wrecks share pictures of professionally decorated cakes gone terribly wrong. The most disturbing cakes on the site, in my opinion, are the baby shower cakes decorated to look like newborn babies. Here's an example from Cake Wrecks:
Is it just me, or is that completely disturbing? Yeah, it's kind of cute, but somebody has to cut that thing up and serve it on pretty little plates! Who wants a baby shower that involves cutting up and devouring a baby?
This makes me want to go to school to learn how to make and decorate baby cakes. ONLY baby cakes. Then, I'm going to start a party planning business but ONLY plan baby showers that feature my specially-made baby cakes.
When my clients show up for their baby shower, they'll be amazed at the decorations.
Yeah, that's very classy decor inspired by the hit Showtime series "Dexter," which happens to be the best TV show in the entire universe. It's the perfect setting for carving a baby cake.
Not just any baby cake, by my very own baby cake featuring Red Velvet Lava filling. It's like a chocolate lava cake, but with a red velvet twist. Here, I'll let that disturbing baby cake from Cake Wrecks give a demonstration:
If you're going to have a creepy cake at your baby shower, you might as well embrace the creepiness and run with it. This almost makes me want to get knocked up again just to have a creepy baby shower with a Red Velvet Lava Baby Cake served in a Dexter kill room. Almost.
But hey, if you're planning a baby shower in the future and would like to consult with me, let me know! I'd be happy to help!
All this ruminating on baby cakes, besides probably qualifying me for some kind of mental disorder, led to the inspiration for my very own ugly bread. If someone can make an ugly baby cake, why couldn't I make some ugly baby bread?
I started off with my favorite, easiest bread recipe. It's quick and doesn't involve any kneading or real effort. Just warm water, yeast, flour, and salt. The dough started out looking like it always does.
After a bit of rising, I oiled up a baking pan with olive oil and worked a bit of Frankenstein magic that dough. I brushed it with more olive oil and covered it so the yeasties could get busy and help put some life into my ugly baby bread.
Vaguely humanoid and satisfyingly ugly, but something was missing. I rummaged through the cabinets and found some stuff to make my ugly baby bread really pop.
Trail mix, dried cranberries, and one cinnamon Cheerio totally transformed the ugly baby bread into something spectacular! Still ugly, but with pizazz! Now the ugly baby bread only needed to work on his tan. After 25 minutes in the tanning booth (a.k.a. the oven) at 400 degrees, he looked like this:
That's some ugly baby bread all right.
With a face only a mother could love! Sure, some of his "hair" fell off in the oven, but don't most babies develop bald spots from lazily lying around all day?
As the children trickled in from school, they had various comments about the ugly baby bread. Terzo asked if he could eat the head and Secondo requested a limb or two to gnaw on. Prima just asked, "What is that?" I said, "It's ugly bread!" She said, "You got that right." I really don't understand why my kids are so warped and smart alecky.
The ugly baby bread was laid on the sacrificial altar of Afternoon Snack. He might have been ugly on the outside, but inside he was beautifully chewy with a delicate, moist crumb.
He was awesomely delicious, as a matter of fact. I think he knew it, too, because even after being pulled apart and devoured by human vultures he still looked happy.
All in all, the ugly bread journey taught me a valuable lesson. Who needs beautifully decorated cakes, anyway? So much time and effort for something that gets hacked apart and eaten after only a few brief moments of admiration, when throwing together a batch of ugly bread is so much faster, easier, and versatile. We had ugly bread with dinner (tuna melts!) and ugly bread for breakfast, toasted with a bit of apricot preserves. Ugly doesn't mean not yummy!
Now gimme my sock zombie!!