Lesson: Only ask a librarian a question when you are fully prepared to hear the answer.
We worked our way through some of them, including the sweet Cranberry series.
And this Patricia Polacco one.
Just the other day, we and the neighbor girls tried these intriguing Bread Dolls, as described by one of our all-time favorite authors, Tomie dePaula, at the end of this book.
Basically, you make a sweet bread dough,
divide it into strips, wrap the strips around a raw egg,
braid as desired,
bake, and you've got yourself a doll with an egg face that is amazing with butter.
Plus, the whole recipe uses nine (9) eggs! Which works out really well when you find yourself rich in eggs, as we sometimes do.
Here is the recipe:
Scald 1/4 cup of milk in a small saucepan. Add 1 stick of butter to melt. While this is cooling, mix 4 cups flour with 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. In your smallest bowl, heat 2 tablespoons water. Dissolve 1 package of dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast) and 1/2 teaspoon sugar into it, stirring gently. In the bowl with the flour mixture, make a well and pour into it 4 lightly beaten eggs, the milk/butter mixture, and the yeast mixture.
Mix all this thoroughly. Knead with hands until smooth, adding a touch of flour as needed to not get too sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. We cut this batch of dough into 4 parts for 4 dolls. For each doll, cut about 1/3 of the dough off for the short rope, and use the remaining 2/3 of the dough for the long rope. After forming one short rope and one long rope, set an uncooked egg on the end of the short rope. Loop the long rope around the egg, draping the ends down, so there will be 3 bread ropes for braiding.
Braid or shape however you wish. Next time I think we'll make actual arms and legs for a more doll-like effect, but the braid or twist is super cute too. Repeat this for the other 3 dolls. Beat yet another egg in a small bowl and brush it over the dough to form a glaze. Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes, depending on thickness of your doll. Check that the bottom doesn't burn :)
Enjoy with butter, oil, or jam!