Dune, one of my favorite sci-fi universes as a kid. The Sci-Fi channel mini-series, and its follow-up Children of Dune, are among my most treasured memories – popcorn on the couch with my parents on either side.
The Sandworm (or Great Maker, or Shai’Halud) is an important species in the lore of Dune. It creates the spice, the single most important resource in the galaxy. Spice expands the mental faculty and extends the lifespan of those who consume it regularly, it is used to transform humans into the Spacing Guild’s Navigators and allows them to move through space at near-instantaneous speeds. So in honor of this most important creature, we fremen give you a fitting tribute:
Spice-Filled Sandworm Bread
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup slightly cooled melted butter
- 2 tsp salt
- 6 ½ – 7 cups bread flour
- 2 tbsp garam masala (or pumpkin pie spice, or Chinese five spice powder, by preference)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar if you want it less sticky)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- sliced blanched almonds
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp cinnamon or garam masala
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
First, mix the yeast and warm water. Let the yeast rise like a desert twister. After ten minutes, add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, spice filling, salt, and eggs. Whisk it all together until your bowl starts to radiate the scent of Melange.
Add half the flour and the melted butter. You may think you want to add the melted butter to the liquids, but you’re wrong. The heat will kill your yeast like Fremen kill Imperial Sardukar. Top the butter off with the rest of the flour.
Mix everything with a whisk and then knead it for about 10 minutes at an uneven pace, making sure to scrape the sides.
Form the spice dough into a ball. Put it into a well greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for an hour, or until the size doubles.
When you come back, knead it like a kit fox burrowing for shelter.
Spread some extra flour on a clean surface and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
Paint the dough with your melted butter, leaving at least 1 inch of clear space around the edges.
The first inch of the sandworm’s mouth should be filled with almonds pointing up, but angled slightly outwards to prevent them from getting pushed around during the baking.
Evenly coat its back with your cinnamon, spice filling, and sugar. You can pre-mix them if you’d like, or you can just lightly massage it all into the butter using your fingertips.
In addition, instead of rolling the worm tight, make sure yours is loose, almost floppy. If you roll a shaped bread too tight, when it rises, it’ll push outwards, distorting the shape. Give it room to grow into the proper form – from sandtrout to Shai’Halud.
Put it on a pizza tray covered in parchment paper, give the body some slithery curls, etch ridges into its back, and let it grow. Also, ball some aluminum foil into a cone and keep that in the Great Maker’s mouth so it has an voracious tooth-filled maw after being baked.
All that is left to do: whisk a teaspoon of vanilla and egg together, and paint the sandworm’s back, and bake it at 350F for 25 minutes.
As soon as it is freed from the oven, glaze its flesh so the flavor could penetrate its outer carapace.
When serving, cut it into rings and drizzle a little more glaze on each slice.
*I have been super swamped the past couple of weeks, I will make this and add the story of my cooking and pictures when I get some free time.