These are really fun to make! The recipe below is enough for one alligator or one turtle – double it to make both.
- 320g strong white flour
- 3 tbsp butter
- 7g fast action yeast
- 110ml water
- 55ml milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- raisins for eyes
- cornflakes for alligator teeth (or something that looks kind of like teeth)
- 1 egg (to brush on top)
1) Combine flour with yeast and salt. Remember not to let yeast touch salt directly.
2) Stir in heated water, milk and butter. This should be tepid so it should feel warm when you dip your finger in, but not hot.
3) Knead until soft and smooth.
4) Prove for 30 mins to an hour, depending on the temperature of your room.
5) Time to shape them! Don’t add the marking and detailing yet, this will be done after they have been left to rise for a bit as otherwise your patterns will be faint. Attach segments together by scouring the dough and pushing firmly together. Make sure they are placed on the baking trays.
Alligator: Make the shape of the alligator, then attach four balls for the limbs.
Turtle: Two flattened balls for the head and the body; the head should be slightly smaller and rounder. Four small balls for the limbs.
6) Let rise again for approximately 20-30 mins. Should aim for it to be slightly under proofed.
7) Add details to bring your animals to life. Use scissors to snip the spikes of the alligator. Indent its face by poking holes in it – makes it look more menacing, grr. Cut a slash for its mouth – but add tooth embellishments AFTER baking. Snip 3 times into claws. For the turtle, mark a criss cross pattern for its shell. Push raisins in for the animals eyes. Make sure they are pushed in deep, because the oven spring will try to push them back out again. And make all the detailing slightly more pronounced than you would want, because they will become fainter, also because of oven spring.
8) Let rise for 10-15 minutes to complete the proving. Preheat the oven at this stage, to 200C.
9) Brush with beaten egg and bake for around 20mins on the middle shelf.