I am not a total idiot, and I know that I will have to make some compromises on the anatomical accuracy. For example, I am not going to make a hyoid bone. (Look it up.) Or a crapload of tarsals and carpals. No one would recognize them in dough form anyway... :-) But I can do better than the leg bone is connected to the other leg bone. The skeleton at least deserves to have a tibia and a fibula and a femur separated by a patella, right?
To make the skeleton somewhat proportional, Hubby and I looked up some art charts to see what the ratios are between body parts. We found that 8 heads is about right for height, and the shoulders are about 3 head heights across (although not anatomically correct, the 8 head height looks better to the human eye, so we ran with that. In reality its more like 6.5-7 heads, or so I read). We wanted to fit the skeleton on 2 large cookie sheets that were 16" long each, so we used 4" as our "head height" and then used that as the basis for everything else. I drew up a quick sketch of what the bones should look like so I had something to follow, and went to town on the pretzel dough!
|my foot looks lame, but I ran out of room and can't really draw worth a darn...|
2 1/4 t yeast (one packet/envelope)
1 1/2 c water at about 110 degrees
1 t salt
extra flour for kneading and dusting
Combine yeast, water, salt, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup. Allow the yeast to activate (bubbles should form). Add yeast mixture to flour and knead. Add flour until dough is not sticky, but still is a little tacky. Knead until dough is silky. Put dough in a bowl or leave on counter, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. If you do not let the dough rest, it will be harder to roll out and will spring back on itself a LOT, so don't skip this step unless you want to fight with your shapes. It will puff up a little from the yeast, but knead it a little and it will deflate again.
|Kneading dough is therapeutic!|
|I traced one hip bone to make the other so they looked kind of symmetrical.|
For the patella, the "carpals" and "tarsals" I pulled a piece of dough out, rolled it in my hands, and flattened it into an appropriately shaped disc.
|most of the upper skeleton and the hips|
|feet... only marginally better than my drawing... if even that.|
|Much puffier now than before baking. But much more beautifully golden!|
|Originally I wanted the hips on the top sheet, but the hands took up too much space so I added some vertebrae and moved it to the bottom. The feet STILL look lame. Oh well. I tried.|
Of course, you could just make pretzels and forget the whole skeleton thing... They still taste just as good!