Posted in Kate, Rolls, Yeast Breads

Sometimes when Sara and I are together and meet people who don’t know us as individuals, they comment on how different we are personality-wise, but how they can tell that we really click. Of course, we know this better than anyone, but sometimes I wonder how exactly we come across to other people. I don’t wonder enough to actually ask them because, since I’m the slightly neurotic one in our relationship, I’m convinced that they’re going to say mean things about me. But I still wonder.

However, I can tell you that from my perspective, I’m definitely the nerdy one. I say that with pride. I own it. Back when I was 10 and the girls in my neighborhood were mean to me, I wished I was anything but nerdy, but these days, I’m completely happy to be a nerd (and to be married to one). I’m the one with the Lord of the Rings references and the tribute to Harry Potter and the Tim Riggins Valentines (my level of devotion to Friday Night Lights is definitely indicative of my nerdiness).

So…yeah. The Hunger Games is right up my obsessive alley. It seems like I read the series in the midst of some minor life crisis–I read them when we were turning in the final manuscript for our first book, then I read them again when my husband was in the hospital for a week last year, and now I’m reading them again as we turn in the final manuscript for our second book. Plus, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the first movie just came out, which only feeds my “problem.” Yeah, I saw it twice in less than a week. And I felt kind of embarrassed about it until I came home and found my husband listening to variations of the same Adele songs in his office and then I felt a little silly for both of us.

I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the books and movie and I don’t really want to get into it other than to say that I realize the subject matter is not everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t make them “bad” in a moral sense. Also, when it comes to popular literary heroines, I think Katniss is someone I’d be friends with in real life. It’s also pretty likely that I would unfriend Bella on Facebook (or at least hide her so I could avoid her 6 posts a day documenting the interior monologue running through her brain, but check in from time to time and then feel bad to realize I was only looking at her Facebook page to feel better about my own life choices).

Given the title, it’s not shocking that one of the recurring themes in The Hunger Games is food. There’s lots of talk of food, the excess in the Capitol, the starvation in many of the other districts. I loved hearing about all the regional foods, the things people made with what was available to them. And one of my favorite scenes in the book was when Katniss, who was hungry, tired, and heart-broken in the games, received a gift of warm, fresh bread from District 11, which was the agricultural district. It was a hearty bread made with whole grains and seeds, formed in the shape of a crescent. While I knew it could be hard to recreate the lamb stew with dried plums that appeared again and again in the books, I was pretty sure I could make me some District 11 Bread. Plus, I saw on Facebook that my sister-in-law Stephanie (of Peter’s Lasagna fame) made Hunger Games bread and I wanted to be awesome like her. :)

To start, you’ll need 3/4 cup of warm (105-115 F) water, sugar, and bread machine or instant yeast.

Pour the sugar into the water…

and mix, then sprinkle the yeast over the sugar/water mixture.

Stir to combine

and then let it hang out for about 10 minutes or until it’s light, bubbly, and frothy. As always, if your yeast doesn’t look like this:

start over. It’s so, so, so much better to have to repeat that particular step than to realize in two hours that your bread isn’t rising and then feel compelled to write me a really mean email.

While the yeast is proofing, measure out 2 tablespoons each of flax seed, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds. You can also use 2 tablespoons of ground flax, it just depends on your personal preferences.

Combine the seeds in a small skillet…

and toast, stirring frequently, over medium heat until they are fragrant and the sesame seeds are starting to turn light brown. If you hear popping, definitely remove from heat ASAP.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 tablespoons of honey, and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Combine well. Add the yeast mixture and combine.

Measure out 3 cups of whole wheat flour (preferably hard white wheat) and 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten…

and combine it with the toasted seeds.

Add the whole wheat flour mixture to the yeast/buttermilk mixture and mix well. Using 1/2 cup of bread flour at a time (yes, you need to use bread flour; it has a higher protein content that will help your bread rise and bake properly), add enough bread flour so that the dough comes together in the middle and barely sticks to your finger (about 2-3 more cups). When the dough has reached the desired consistency, allow the machine to knead it for 5 minutes.

While the dough is kneading, spray a large glass or metal bowl with non-stick cooking spray. When the dough is done kneading, turn it into the prepared bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured (or sprayed-with-cooking-spray) surface and divide it into equal halves. Roll each half into an even circle about 12″ in diameter and 1/4″ thick (or a little more).

Using a pizza wheel or a dough cutter, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges.

Starting with the wide end, roll the dough down to the point and place on a Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Curve into a crescent shape.

Repeat with remaining dough pieces (you’ll make 2 pans). Cover with a clean dish cloth and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, combine 1 tablespoon flax seeds (definitely use the seeds this time, even if you used ground flax seeds in the dough), 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds, and 2 tablespoons uncooked oats in a small bowl.

Also, mix an egg white with 2 tablespoons cold water and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.

When the rolls are done rising,

carefully brush them with the egg white mixture and then sprinkle the seed mixture evenly over the rolls.

Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. If you have one oven (like me and most everyone else reading this recipe), you can either bake them one sheet at a time (I recommend that; weird things happen when you start crowding your oven) or you can rotate the baking sheets halfway through. Allow to cool slightly and then eat with butter while they’re still warm.

Makes 16 crescent rolls.

P.S. If you haven’t entered our Bosch mixer giveaway, head straight over HERE right now. Not trying to be bossy or anything. Also, if you’ve already entered, you can get another entry by becoming a fan L’EQUIP on Facebook. Then head back over to the giveaway post and tell us that you’re a fan of L’EQUIP on Facebook–don’t leave the comment here because you may be flogged and your comment will be deleted.

 

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74comments

  1. 1
    chelsea says:

    Love the Hunger Games and yes, I am the nerd who throws the Twilight, Disney, Harry Potter and Hunger Game themed adult parties! This would make a great appetizer! Perhaps I’ll make your rolls with arrows sticking through the center as well :)

  2. 2
    Kari says:

    This post is why I read your blog – funny, heartfelt and nerdy. Love, your fellow nerd.

  3. 3
    Jessica says:

    I was so excited to see this. I love the hunger games. I just shared this one thehob.org Facebook page. Maybe they’ll post it on their website. :)

  4. 4
    CheyAnne says:

    I love your post-it made me laugh! I am also enjoying your cookbook that I received as a hostess gift from a baby shower! Yay! But I have to say, as a Twilight junkie, I don’t agree with the Bella comment. She would do anything for the ones she loves (as would Katniss) and in the end she gets exactly what she wants and is happy. Not so bad?!? Lol! I just had to post my nerdy thoughts! Keep the great recipes coming-we love your blog here in Texas!!!

  5. 5
    Genet says:

    Yeast and I don’t get along … at all! But I’m willing to try these District 11 crescents because they look so incredibly delicious!

  6. 6
    Shannon says:

    I am a fellow nerd, currently reading the books for the third time in anticipation of FINALLY seeing the movie on Thursday!!
    Just an FYI….Both time you mention the sunflower seeds in the post, you call them shelled/unsalted sesame seeds. :)

  7. 7
    Kim says:

    You guys are so awesome! Love the idea of a district 11 bread and this looks yummy. I’m not a bread maker (like Peeta) but I’ll give this a try for sure!

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    It’s always nice to meet another nerd who isn’t ashamed to admit it. (Can I just tell you my family is touring the Harry Potter studios in London this Spring!) Anyway I liked l’Equip on Facebook and it’s true. I have their stick blender I do like it.

  9. 9
    Hannah says:

    I have to agree – I would be proud to have a daughter like Katniss over Bella… that’s why I have loved the Hunger Games – the strong feminine main character. Oh and this bread looks amazing!

  10. 10
    Summer Kellogg says:

    Loved this post! Aren’t we ALL nerds at heart? And the bread looks amazing!

  11. 11
    bob mckenzie says:

    With bread flour, is extra protein added to regular flour or is more protein retained by the way it’s processed?

    I ask because I like to grind whole wheat. Since the grinding doesn’t take anything away, would it have more protein than typical white flour?

    Any difference (in protein) between grinding red wheat vs white wheat?

    I know I can’t bake bread using *only* the fresh ground wheat flour because it comes out too dense, even if I add gluten to it. I have to mix it with regular flour.

    • 11.1

      It’s retained by the way it’s processed, so it does have more protein than typical white flour.

      I believe red and white wheat are very similar in protein content, but hard spring wheat has higher protein than winter wheat, whichever variety you’re using.

      It’s possible to use all whole wheat flour, I just wanted a slightly lighter roll. :)

  12. 12
    Clarissa says:

    This makes me so happy. Love the hunger games and can’t wait to make this bread!

  13. 13
    Christy says:

    Love this recipe – loved the books and saw the movie. Thanks for a fun recipe!

  14. 14
    Andrea says:

    loved the hunger games and love tim riggins. and your twilight comment made me laugh out loud. long time reader and the food I make from you gals always gets the most compliments and rave reviews. thanks for sharing yourselves (quirks and all) with us :)

  15. 15
    Sharylann says:

    Kate, I just have to say, I never thought you were a nerd when we were in Jr. High/High School but we were friends so maybe I didn’t recognize the nerdiness cause of my own. ;)

  16. 16
    Carlin says:

    I heart the Hunger Games!! We had a Hunger Games party before the movie came out and it was the freakin’ bomb! I made the lamb stew with dried plums and it was delicious, just like Katniss described. We also had goat cheese and apple tarts, Peeta’s cheesy buns, and Greasy Sae’s wild dog stew (made with cow, of course:)). I LOVE that you made this bread! For those who have read the book, this bread from District 11 just means so much, and always sounds so delicious when reading. I am definitely going to make this. Thanks so much for posting this!
    P.S. I am fairly certain you and I would be friends if we were ever to meet:) Your posts are exactly what I am thinking! I laughed out loud about the Bella comment!

  17. 17
    Becky says:

    I don’t understand your Lord of the Rings link to the salad post. I swear I’ve read it 3 times. What am I missing? I’m a HUGE LOTR and HG fan! I missed all of the scenes of her foraging in the movie, but I admit, it would make a pretty boring movie.

  18. 18

    These are gorgeous! I’m a big carb fan so these speak to me. This is the first time I have visited your blog and I just wanted to stop by and say that you’re doing a beautiful job. I am absolutely in love with your header!

  19. 19
    Mark Petersen says:

    Speaking of nerdy foods, any cool ideas for “Blue Milk”?

  20. 20
    robin says:

    these look delish! I bet chia seeds would be amazing instead of the poppy seeds.

  21. 21
    adrienne w says:

    Hilarious! I don’t like to jump on bandwagons when it comes to books (and the plot sounded horrible every time someone tried to explain it to me), so it took me a long time to submit, but I just read the books this week. And of course, I really liked them! I kept saying to my husband while I was reading them that they made me hungry. I’m pregnant so a lot of things make me hungry, but, boy, did a wild turkey on a spit sound appealing! I love literature inspired food!!

  22. 22

    I guess this nerd is in good company. I so wish I had a bread machine, but will have to knead the old fashioned way. I also wish I had a mixer. Lucky for me you are hosting a giveaway!

  23. 23
    Jesse says:

    Thank you for agreeing that Bella should be unfriended on facebook! Katniss has finally given bookworm girls someone to look up to! Awesome recipe. Best movie in a long time- glad you loved it too :)

  24. 24
    Alexis says:

    This is awesome!!! Sounds like a good hearty bread, might have to make them soooon. :D Seriously though, nerds will rule the earth. Go nerds!! :D

  25. 25
    Dawn H. says:

    These look so good! My husband and I started making our own bread and we love trying something new on the weekends. Also we love the Hunger Games at our house so it will be a big hit.

  26. 26
    garysgirl says:

    YUM! These look so good!

  27. 27
    Loni says:

    Love this post! I had to read the Bella/facebook part to my husband. So funny! I also love The Hunger Games books, I’m the one who introduced them to all my friends years ago, so I’m glad I’m not the only ‘nerdy’ girl out there. :)

  28. 28
    Amanda says:

    I practically squealed when I saw the title “District 11 Bread”. And I’m 32. Ha! Nerds unite!

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    Your comment about unfriending Bella was hilarious. Hilarious because I’ve had to do the exact same thing for the exact same reason and with the exact same self-aggrandizing motivation with a member of my family, who is a dead ringer for Kristen Stewart. And yes, I’m anonymizing myself for this comment just in case she reads this blog.

  30. 30
    Lisa Ortega says:

    Thank you!!!! I’m making this tonight! My daughter is a HUGE Hunger Games fan…ok, so is her mother!

  31. 31
    Stef says:

    I just got through reading the Hunger Games trilogy on Monday night, and have been suffering major withdrawals ever since! I’m *hopefully* seeing the movie this weekend. I’m at work right now, and seeing this recipe just totally brightened my day! Power to the nerds, I’m right there with you!

  32. 32
    Jessica Allen says:

    I love that you made District 11 bread! That was one of my favorite parts in the series. I loved it when Peta and Katniss were getting to know each other, and Peta was explaining all the breads form all the districts. It just made the gift of the bread even more significant after Rue was killed. I think I’ll have to make this. My kids are too young to get it, but it will make my inner cheese-ball happy.

  33. 33
    Kimberly says:

    See, I knew we were meant to be friends! I have only come to embrace my nerdiness in the last few years. I actually cried when I read your Harry Potter post. I’ve read The Hunger Games series three times now as well and love the complexity of it more each time, it’s so much more than a love triangle. Have you gotten the soundtrack? AMazing! I’ve loved figuring out whose perspective each song is told from. OK, I’ll stop now. Can’t wait to make this bread!

  34. 34
    Alisha says:

    After reading the books I was really intrigued about the different kinds of bread. This looks so good, I think I’m going to make it tomorrow.

  35. 35

    Excellent recipe! I want to make my own Hunger Games inspired bread now!

    ps totally with you on the geekiness. And secretly liking Twilight, but wanting to unfriend Bella ;)

  36. 36
    Molly says:

    What incredible rolls! If my computer had smell-o-vision I’d be in deep trouble. Do you think it would not upset the universe too much if I let the bread machine make this dough. Yeast refuses to play nicely for me otherwise. Also, what about the chia seed for poppy seed substitution? We can’t use poppy seeds in this house and 2 1/2 tablespoons seems like a pretty significant amount to leave out of a dough. Hmm… Ideas? Thank you again for the wonderful recipes, tips and inspiration.

  37. 37
    Jamy Bailey says:

    I honestly laughed out loud when I saw the title of the bread! Love it, love District 11, and yes… Love Hunger Games. ;)

  38. 38
    Linda S Gruber says:

    I too embrace my nerdiness and am proud of it. And I am so excited about trying this bread!

  39. 39
    Trista Bytheway says:

    I am SO glad I’m not the only one with that opinion of dear Bella. Man she can drive you nuts! Very obnoxious.

  40. 40
    Teresa says:

    Interestingly enough, when I read the books and she was raving about the lamb stew, I was like “YES!” My favorite meal (and its super easy to make) right now is a lamb tagine with dried plums and apricots and honey. It is… to die for. Now I need to make it.

  41. 41
    Regina says:

    Hi! I have been following your blog for years but rarely comment! I just wanted to say you are hilarious! I love that you made District 11 bread! I actually saw the movie before reading the book, and I still loved it! Of course I ran home and read it that weekend. There was so much including the scene you talked about that I didn’t get to see in the movie so I am so glad I read it and can’t wait to read the others.

    Anyway, everything I make from yall is FANTASTIC!! Thank you so much for your blog and recipes! I am so excited to hear you speak at Time Out next weekend. Honestly, my MIL bought the tickets ages ago and I didn’t even know who was speaking and actually forgot all about it until she sent me the itinerary. Now that I saw ya’lls names I am COUNTING the days!!!

  42. 42
    Auntiepatch says:

    What is vital wheat gluten & do I really need it?

    • 42.1

      It’s just the protein (gluten) portion from the wheat kernel. It will help make your rolls light and airy even though they’re made with whe wheat flour. You should be able to find it in the baking or health food section of a grocery store.

      As far as hard white wheat flour goes, it’s just a type of wheat that’s lighter and milder than red wheat, which is theirs traditional wheat. I’ve seen bags of hard white wheat flour at my backwoods grocery store, but you can use regular wheat flour if you can’t find white wheat flour.

      • tish says:

        I buy my Vital Wheat Gluten at Walmart. In the baking section where the flour is. More than likely it will be on the top shelf.

  43. 43
    Auntiepatch says:

    For that matter, what is hard white wheat flour? Am I missing something?

  44. 44
    Charlotte says:

    This looks good might have to try it out. As for saying the lamb stew with dried plums would be too hard…not at ALL! My mum made us a wonderful stew the other night, and I just realized it was a great version of what I imagined the hunger games stew to be..I think she just googled “moroccan lamb stew” and it even had the dried plums in it! So yummy!

  45. 45
    Sarah Moran says:

    This looks so yummy! I love your recipes; every one I’ve tried has been a hit with my family.

  46. 46
    Susie says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you can use dry powdered milk in place of the vital wheat gluten ??

  47. 47
    Dani says:

    I love katniss! I am not so much fond of Belle either she seems….weak? Is that a good word. Anyway great post gonna try to figure this out with some GF flours how fun!

  48. 48
    Kate says:

    When will your new cookbook be out? I am in love with your first one

  49. 49
    Leesa W says:

    My mouth watered whenever I read about the breads in this series!! This looks amazing, can’t wait to try it. Bought the cookbook today too, can’t wait for Monday, when it shows up on my doorstep!! :)

  50. 50
    Emily E says:

    Have you read DIVERGENT yet? If not, you simply must!!

  51. 51

    Awesome post! A very creative idea… I too am obsessed with the Hunger Games (in a completely non-teeny-bopper way.) :)

  52. 52
    Jeanette D says:

    I just teared up at your ‘District 11 sending bread to Katniss’ reference so, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m destined to nerd it up with your bread. And cry every time I eat it… *sob*
    Thanks for the recipe!

  53. 53
    Michelle Breck says:

    I must say, my favorite part of the book, was when Dstrict 11 sent Katnis the bread. That it was not in the movie, was a big disappointment. I was really sad it wasn’t there. Your bread looks delicious. Thanks for the idea.

  54. 54
    Danielle M says:

    I made these for Easter dinner and OMG they were awesome!!! so so good. Since I know have all the ingredients, I will be making them again real soon. I also added a little bit of Kosher salt on top like an everything bagel would do, really liked the salt on top. Thank you for the recipe!!! I have already passed it along to many people!

  55. 55
    Julie Baird says:

    I am so excited to try this! You are so awesome for not only creating this recipe, but tying it back to literature. Thanks for being yourself. I love reading your posts because I feel like I am reading a letter from a friend.

  56. 56
    Tina says:

    I made these for Easter dinner, and they are fantastic! We’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week – they’re even wonderful re-heated. I love whole grains, but my family prefers white bread. However, even the white bread devotees loved these rolls.

  57. 57
    Kayci says:

    So while I was reading the Hunger Games, I was thinking about this bread and how I wished I could get the recipe…wishes really do come true!! ;)

  58. 58
    Melissa says:

    OH MY GOSH THIS IS GOING ON ALLLL OF THE FANDOM BLOGS

  59. 59
    Leesa W says:

    I’m so excited! I just finished making these to go with the grilled stuffed zucchini from the OBB cookbook. I used my bread machine, which got a little crowded – I had to help it along using a wooden spoon to stir things up (it’s an older magic chef I got for $5 bucks at a garage sale – so I’m not complaining!), but the dough rose beautifully, and these rolls are GORGEOUS. Thank you gals for tonight’s dinner! :)

  60. 60
    VaLene Hulme says:

    Why is it called District 11 bread?

  61. 61
    Brook says:

    Yes!!!!!! :D I’m DEFINITELY making these rolls! I absolutely LOVE the Hunger Games! ^_^

  62. 62
    Peggy Duvall says:

    I’ve been looking for a seedy recipe like this!
    I don’t understand the Hunger Games excitement. I saw the movie without knowing anything about it and was appalled at children murdering other children because their parents were weak and spineless.

  63. 63
    Michelle says:

    This recipe looks really nice, but as a professional baker and neurotic ‘process follower’, one step made my eye twitch … so I’d like to share a pro-tip with you and your readers:

    Instead of waiting to seed the tops of the rolls until after the 2nd rise, seed them after they are shaped. To do this effectively, place your egg wash in a bowl and your seed mixture in another bowl (I recommend wide bowls, like a smallish mixing bowl–but bigger than a cereal bowl, that way you can do 2 at a time). Dip the tops of the rolls into the egg wash, then right into the seed mixture. There are 2 advantages to this method: 1) less waste! The seeds stick to the bread and there will be very little fallout on the pan 2) reduced risk of deflating your beautifully risen rolls.

    I use this method to seed loaves of bread and individual rolls every day. Hope this helps someone. :)

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