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Ghastly baked goods.


A bakery in Thailand stocks a strange selection of goodies: Rather than doughnuts or cupcakes, the shelves are lined with what appear to be edible human heads, hands, and other body parts. But the creepy cuisine is made of bread!

Art student Kittiwat Unarrom studied anatomy books to make his bread body-parts look as realistic as possible. To create the sculptures, which include wrinkles in the "skin," Kittiwat sculpts the dough and paints it with edible dye. To preserve those details through the baking process, he also uses a special dough recipe.

The bread you usually use to make sandwiches is made from dough that contains yeast, a type of single-celled fungus. The yeast ferments in the dough; it feeds on sugar and creates alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The gas produces air pockets in the dough, causing it to expand. To keep the fine features in his sculptures from swelling and disappearing, Kittiwat must use a recipe without yeast. "If he had any yeast in his dough, he wouldn't get any of that detail," says Jeffrey Hamelman, the bakery director at the King Arthur Flour company in Vermont.

Hamelman also says that Kittiwat likely uses a type of flour other than the white flour found in most grocery-store bread. The wheat ground to make white flour contains proteins called gluten that link up into long strands as the dough is mixed. This structure traps any gas--such as water vapor--that forms in the bread. "If you use white flour, even dough without yeast is going to puff up," says Hamelman.

Despite his unconventional baking methods, Kittiwat says his spooky loaves taste like normal bread. Head-bread sandwich, anyone?

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:GROSS OUT
Author:Norlander, Britt
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Oct 26, 2009
Previous Article:Secrets of silk: an ancient mystery reaches the end of the road.
Next Article:Explain this!

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