Homemade Flour Tortillas

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I’m horrible at posting delicious recipes in time for holidays. I think I went through about half of my day not remembering it’s Cinco de Mayo.

It’s the friggin fifth of mayonnaise. HOW COULD I FORGET?! I live in Texas, for crying out loud. I should be knee deep in amazing mexican food, margaritas and tequila! Instead, I’m on my couch watching Moneyball.

BUT to my defense, I did tell my hubby that I wanted at pina colada at 9am. I thought it was noon. I’ve been up since 5:30am, leavemealone.

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Anyway, if you’re like me and you’re a plight on this world and forgot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (which Mexico doesn’t even celebrate), make up for it by making homemade tortillas. Or as my very German mother would say “tor-tee-lee-ahs.”

Make em and then stuff them with barbacoa, roll them into enchiladas, fill em with good stuff for quesadillas or shove some chocolate peanut butter and strawberries inside and call it dinner. I’m so grown up.

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Homemade Tortillas
makes 12 – 7″ tortillas


3 cups all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cups canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 cup hot water

Note: I used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose and they came out yummy. A bit thicker but definitely still tasty!! The original recipe yielded 12 tortillas but my dough weighed 650g and it was just easier to divide that evenly into 13 tortillas (at 50g each).


In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk until completely combined. Add the oil and mix it together with your fingers until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the hot water and resume mixing with your hands until it begins to come together. Lightly flour your surface and knead for a minute until you get a smooth ball of dough. Put your dough in the same bowl you mixed the dough in, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes (mine ended up sitting for about 2 hours, oops). You can make this dough up to a day in advance and just let it rest, covered in the refrigerator.

Divide the dough into 12 balls (if you have a scale, weigh the dough and divide accordingly). Flour your surface and pat the ball down a bit with your hands to create an even, flat surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough flipping and adding flour as needed until it is uniform in thickness and about 8-inches in diameter. Cook on a hot, ungreased skillet over medium-high heat. Working one at a time, cook until brown blisters form on one side, then flip. Wrap them in a clean dish towel to keep them warm, before serving.

Keep in mind that these don’t have preservatives and junk so they won’t keep for weeks like store bought ones will. Aim to eat them immediately or at least within a day or two.

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


Pizza Swirl Bread

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What do you get someone who has absolutely everything they need and the means to get themselves anything they could ever want?

I mean, how HARD does that short, simple sentence make gift giving? Hella hard.

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I don’t have the problem of giving a gift that isn’t heartfelt. That’s not my style, any gift given by me always have a loving thought behind them. Always, non-negotiable.

And as (my) luck would have it, those that I want to show an immense love and appreciation for through my savvy gift giving ways, always end up being the ones who stump me due to said reason above.

And it sucks, people.

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I know, I know… it’s the thought that counts but dangit I want the item itself to count too. I don’t want it shoved in the darkest corner of your least used closet to gather dust. I want it to be loved.

It’s stressful. I’m stressed. Did I stress you out? Here, have some bread.

Not just any bread. This is the love child of swirled bread and pizza. All the ooey, gooey saucy toppings of a pizza surrounded by soft, pillowy bread. This really can’t get any better. Bake it and serve it up warm with extra pizza sauce for dipping/slathering. Eat and de-stress.

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Pizza Swirl Bread
adapted from How Sweet Eats
makes one loaf


1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub AP flour for the WW)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
28 slices pepperoni
1/3 cup tomato sauce, or more if desired
1 tablespoon italian seasoning


In a measuring cup, combine milk and 2 tablespoons butter and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter melts; set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flours, yeast, and salt.

In your measuring cup with the milk/butter, add 1/4 cup of warm water and the egg and whisk to combine.

With the mixer on low speed (using a dough hook), add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 5-6 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and lightly flour your workspace, then knead by hand for a minute or two until the dough becomes smooth. Add a few more teaspoons of flour if dough is sticky.

Coat the stand mixer bowl with non-stick cooking spray, then place dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to double in size for about one hour.

Optional: while your dough is rising, stick the pepperoni in the microwave on a paper towel lined plate for 30 seconds to remove a bit of grease. I then dabbed the tops of the pepperoni’s with a paper towel to get the excess grease off the tops as well.

Lightly spray an 8 1/2 x 4″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

After dough has risen, gently press you hand down into the dough to deflate it. Flour your workspace and roll into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread tomato sauce on first, then minced garlic, then pepperoni, then your cheeses (reserving a small handful) then italian seasoning. Starting at one of the short ends, tightly roll dough into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and brush with a little butter, and sprinkle with reserved cheese and more italian seasoning.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown (the top of my bread exploded so it began to leak some cheese and sauce so I slipped some foil in under the loaf to catch the drippings). Let cool for 30 minutes, or not. Reminder: HOT cheese, proceed with caution 🙂

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This post was inspired by Di’s Homemade Loaf roundup. A bunch of swell bloggers got together and all made some yummy bread. Head on over to check them all out. A round-up will be posted soon.

Grilled Pizza Tutorial

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Let me preface this by saying that I live in Texas. Down here we grill chicken, brisket, sausage and turkey legs. Not pizza. Grilling pizza is pretty damn unknown here. Well, even if it’s not, I’ll be bold enough to say that it is. Let’s pretend that I’m right. Also, it may be the tail-end of Summer where you are so grilling at this time might seem weird to you, but here it’s still Summer. Today’s high of 100F says so.

Having cleared that up, I have never grilled a pizza. Ever. I had never even heard about it until I started blogging. But once I saw the idea and got past my “Texans only grill BBQ” mind set, I was so intrigued! And it’s taken far too long for me to take the leap.

I’ve lost so many years of the best pizza I’ve ever made at home. But I’m hip to the jive now groovy people. Whoa, taking it back 1975.

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Bad blog writing aside, this really is the best pizza I’ve made. The outside of the crust is lightly crispy, the inside is fluffy and soft and once you have the pizza crust ready, it takes no more than 20 minutes, start to finish. It is so worth it.

Note: I realize there are about as many ways to grill a pizza as there are to top them but this seemed easiest to me so I went with it. Head on over to Mel’s blog for a great tutorial with pictures for every step. I would have done that but it’s really hard to grill and NOT burn lunch and take pictures all by yourself 🙂

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Grilled Pizza
via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

I used this pizza dough, pre-made sauce (I had to use what I had on hand) and a propane grill (although you can just as easily grill this on a charcoal grill.) Have your pizza dough ready and made before proceeding to the grill.

Preheat your grill to medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.

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While the grill preheats, lightly grease a baking pan (with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil) and place your dough and shape it into an oval/rectangle shape. Grab another clean baking sheet for your finished pizza and stack it under your baking sheet holding the dough.

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Gather all the toppings you intend to use (meats, veggies, cheeses, sauce, everything) in easily accessible bowls, a spoon, a brush, and tongs and place them on another tray.

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Time to head outside. Place your tray(s) holding the dough on one side of the grill and place the toppings tray on the opposite side of the grill.

Lightly brush the top side of dough with olive oil.

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Open the grill, grab two edges of the dough and in one smooth motion lift the dough and quickly place it on your hot grill surface.

Most likely your pizza dough won’t be perfectly round or rectangular anymore. That’s perfectly fine. Rustic is beautiful. And sassy. Now close the grill and let the dough cook for about 2-4 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. (Switch your baking sheets so the clean one is now on top.)

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The dough will be ready to flip when it lightly bubbles on the surface and the bottom has lovely grill marks but is NOT burned.

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Using a pair of tongs, gently flip the dough over. Throughout this process, keep an eye on the grill’s temperature, adjusting up or down as necessary. Burned pizza doesn’t taste that good.

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Now working quickly, using a spoon, spread your sauce over the crust. Next, layer with your toppings (mine were red bell pepper, mushrooms, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese).

Once all your toppings are on the pizza, close the grill and let the pizza cook for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese and finish cooking the crust. You might need to cook a bit longer depending on how much cheese you used but I would not recommend more than another minute or two.

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Carefully remove your pizza with a pair of tongs onto your clean baking sheet. Slice and serve with a cold glass of your favorite beer or glass of iced tea 🙂

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Beer Pizza Crust

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting back, kicking up your feet, enjoying a slice of pizza, a beer and some football.

Or whatever your television poison is: trashy reality, hockey, CSI version 95, or the weather channel. Either way, pizza is the answer. Made even better when your crust is infused with beer!

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Don’t fret, beer haters. I am not what you would call a ‘fan’ of beer. This pizza crust is mildly flavored, although it does depend on the type of beer you use. But if anything, the yeast in the beer gives this dough a beautiful rise and a wonderful flavor and texture. Almost like an artisan pizza crust.

This pizza crust comes together so easily and you don’t even need a stand mixer for it. I made this dough using a big bowl, a wooden spoon and kneaded by hand and it was no trouble at all. I would easily say this crust is tied with my go-to pizza dough. That’s serious business people.

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Beer Pizza Crust
adapted from here with tips from here


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 fl oz (1 1/2 cups) room temperature beer (I used Samuel Adams Octoberfest)


Combine flour, instant yeast, baking powder, salt and olive oil in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Slowly add beer and using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a shaggy dough.

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Flour your hands and your dough and knead the dough with your hands until you have a soft, smooth dough – it should hardly stick to the mixing bowl or your hands, about 7 minutes (less if using a stand mixer).

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Form the dough into a round ball, cover with a dish cloth and allow it to rise for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Once your dough is doubled in size, use your open hand to gently press down on the dough to deflate it. Separate into 2 dough balls or leave whole if making one large pizza.

Preheat the oven to 450F.

If you have a pizza stone, cover with parchment paper. If you don’t, use a large round or rectangular metal pan, cover in foil to make clean-up much easier and sprinkle with a little corn meal or lightly spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Shape (or roll) your dough to about 10 – 12 inches (or to fit the size of your pan) keeping in mind that thin dough makes for a crispier crust and thicker will yield a softer, thicker crust. When you think it’s roughly the right size for your pan (or baking stone), turn the dough down onto it. You might need to let it rest for a few minutes and gently pull at the sides if you find the dough springs back.

Add your sauce and toppings and place in the oven, for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melty. If you place the toppings under any cheese, you’ll have a less greasy pizza. Let it sit for a few minutes so you don’t burn off your taste buds then serve with an ice cold beer and some football 😉

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Stay tuned for my grilled pizza tutorial using this crust 🙂

Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf – TWD

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Cornmeal is one (of the many) ingredients that I NEVER bought before I started baking regularly. I never made my own cornbread, or pizza, or the many things you can used cornmeal for.


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Oh, how the times have changed. I can’t imagine not having it on hand. Mainly because I have a few stashes of homemade pizza dough in the freezer for emergencies. But let’s not dwell on tiny details.

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With the name of this loaf beginning with ‘cornmeal’ I immediately thought gritty, with a texture and flavor likened to cornbread. But mine didn’t turn out that way. Instead, it was a pretty standard fruit loaf that had a little extra something that you couldn’t quite put your finger on (unless you made it ;P). Honestly, I can’t remember what I omitted and whether or not I subbed ingredients but mine is pretty plain: just apples. And it was tasty and came together rather quickly.

Thanks to Caitlin of Engineer Baker for choosing this. Head on over to her blog for the recipe.

Golden Brioche Loaf – TWD

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I knew going into making this brioche that it wouldn’t turn out.

Not because the recipe is flawed, but because I was making it at night, trying to cram it all in before bed. I was doing so well until it came to the last rise.

While the bread was on it’s last rise, I made dinner. Then ate dinner. Then fell asleep on the couch. The bread had risen too much, collapsed in on itself and I was too tired to deal with it then so I put it in the fridge to deal with the next day.

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I let it come to room temp and then baked it. It wasn’t pretty. It was pretty hard and smelled like melting cheese(?) but again, I had no patience to deal with it. It tasted ok, but I know that I was missing the whole package because of my oopsy.

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So, my lesson: do NOT bake when I’m tired. Just don’t.

I will be trying my hand at this bread again because it looks too good not to.

The awesome Margaret of Tea and Scones chose this recipe for this week’s TWD. Head on over to her blog for the recipe. (Click here for direct link)

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Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

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There is nothing better than a freshly baked bagel, toasted nice and crispy and smeared with copious cream cheese and some homemade jam.

Ok, well… maybe there’s shoes. And glitter. And chocolate. And boys that buy you flowers. And boys that tell you they love you and buy you a zombie t-shirt for no reason at all because you are more than slightly obsessed with them.

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Maybe the latter is the best of them all but bagels are pretty darn great too. And more simple to make than you might think.

Yes, it involves yeast. Yes, you have to par-boil them. No, it is not outside your realm of possibility. You too can be a master of the freshly baked bagel. And yes, you will thank me for it. Or at least think of me while you bite into your first imperfect bagel fresh from the oven. Because the ugliest one always tastes the best 😉

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Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Yields 4 large or 6 small bagels

⅔ cups Warm Water (about 100 degrees F)
½ Tablespoons Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Yeast
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
¾ teaspoons Salt
1/2 cup plump raisins

Preparation Instructions:
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and let the yeast develop for about 5 minutes. Once the yeast bubbles, add in flour, cinnamon, vegetable oil, and salt and with a dough hook mix on medium until the dough is elastic and tough. I let my mixer run for about 8 minutes, but pay attention to the texture of the dough and stop once it is supple. In the last minuted of kneading, add in the raisins. Alternatively, you can mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead it by hand. You may need to add in a bit of extra water, but do so little by little.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit and rise in a warm, draft free place for 20-30 minutes. The dough will not double in size, but it will rise.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand. Cut into 6 equal pieces (or 4 if you are opting for larger bagels). Roll each individual piece into a “snake” long enough to wrap around your palm. If the dough shrinks back, set that piece aside for a minute and let the dough relax then try again. Wet your fingertips with water and wet each end of the dough and press them together, forming a circle. Place the formed bagels on a floured board, cover with the same plastic wrap and allow to rise another 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a paper towel on a plate and set it aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. When the water is gently boiling, place 1-2 bagels into the water for 1 minute and then flip to boil on the other side for another minute. Remove the bagels, place them on paper towels to take off excess moisture, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels. Place baking sheet in the center of the oven for 18 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. The bagels will have browned nicely, but shouldn’t be too dark. Take them out and let them cool on a wire rack until you can no longer resist the temptation to dig in!

Note: You can substitute 1/2 cup wheat flour for the all purpose flour.

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Cream Scones with Cinnamon Chips – TWD

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I am just not a fan of scones. This isn’t news to you, I’ve said it before. There are only two other scones recipes on this blog. Scones just aren’t my thing.

I make them and I try and try again thinking that one day I am going to change my mind (like I hoped I would with brussel sprouts, that NEVER happened). Hoping maybe one day I’ll happen upon a recipe or technique that works and gives me scones that I just can’t resist.

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Well, I’ve found it. The recipe is really simple and tasty. I think the magic is in the technique: use nothing but your hands and work quickly but gently. Seriously. That’s it.

You know how lots of recipes say ‘a little unmixed flour is ok’ …well, turns out that it IS ok. Just grab a paper towel and set it next to your sink (trust me on this), mix the flour and sqeeze/rub the butter until it is pebbly, add the cream and WITH YOUR HANDS (not a spoon or spatula or your favorite nifty gadget) swoop under and around no more that 10 times. By then a good portion of the flour should be mixed in. Dump you dough and flour on your counter and knead together no more than 3 times, quickly pat it into a circle, cut and place on your baking sheet.

Your hands are a mess. I know. Turn on your faucet, wash your hands and dry with that paper towel and wipe down your sink handles. Told you that paper towel will come in handy.

You should really listen to me more often.

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So be sure to listen when I say these scones are AMAZING. And made even better with a mix in (dried fruit, chocolate, or cinnamon chips).

I am happy to say that I LOVE these scones. I am professing my undying love to these scones. Want proof? I ate TWO of these fresh out of the oven. TWO. I don’t think I’ve ever so much as finished a scone before.

Thank goodness I fell upon this easy technique that changed by scone-y life. If only my hips would thank me…

For this amazing recipe, head on over to Cafe Lynnylu (or click here)

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Sorting Hat Pita Bread for Harry Potter

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Ever wish you could just wave a magic wand and dinner prepares itself on the stove, cookies come perfectly out of the oven every time, the floor mops itself? Me too. More times than I care to mention. You see, I’m a bit obsessed with Harry Potter at the moment, which I may have mentioned.

But if I had my own wand, I would only use my powers for good, not evil. The sorting hat should have no problem putting me in the Gryffindor house.

But just in case it does find some difficulty, I made my own. Out of bread. It does what I tell it to do (or what I mumble in my worst ventriloquist act ever). And when it misbehaves, I’ll just eat it.

You see, my sorting hat it made out of pita bread. Amazing.

Serve this bread at your Harry Potter party along with your favorite spinach dip or even grape jelly (and pretend it’s polyjuice potion, of course) and don’t forget these magical words “Please not Slytherin.”

For a fantastic tutorial with pictures click here.

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Sorting Hat Pita Bread
Adapted from here

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (80-90°F)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cups flour

To make the bread dough:

In a large bowl, add the sugar and warm water. Stir in the yeast and let the mixture proof for 10 minutes.

Once the yeast is bubbly, mix in the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, until the mixture is silky smooth. This is your sponge; it is not your completed dough. Set aside the mixture for 30 minutes to 8 hours (the longer this sponge is left alone, the better the flavor. I let mine go for 12 hours).

Once time is up, stir in the salt and olive oil. Then mix in the flour. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by hand or 6-8 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a draft-free place for 2-3 hours, until doubled.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

To shape and bake your bread:

Form a large cone out of foil (grab sheets and start crinkling it into a cone shape, adding more as necessary), about 8 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter. Gently deflate your dough and take 2/3 of it; keeping the remaining third covered, set aside. (I didn’t end up using the remaining 1/3 so I wrapped it tightly and put it in the freezer to use as pizza dough.)

Spread out the dough in a large circle, like you would a pizza crust, so that it’s big enough to cover the cone. Spray the foil cone with nonstick spray and then gently cover it with your dough. Pinch deep grooves for the eyes, mouth, and random wrinkles (I had a difficult time with this step as my grooves kept drooping but I kept re-pinching it and eventually it stayed long enough for me to get it into the oven). Place the dough covered cone on a baking sheet,on its side, face side up.

Take the remaining third of dough and form a large circle, about 10 inches in diameter. Place it in a parchment lined nonstick 9×9 inch baking pan, keeping the center of the circle flat and wrinkling the edges to fit in the pan. Bake both pans for 20 minutes. Take both trays out of the oven.

Raise the temperature of the oven to 425°F. Now either spray the bread with the face with nonstick spray or brush it with melted butter. Stand the dough up so that it’s no longer on its side. Lower your oven racks so the bread fits and place both trays of bread back in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Let cool a bit on a cooling rack. Finally, place the bread covered foil cone on top of the hat bottom when ready to serve.

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Isn’t he cute?? I just wanna eat him all up…