Tanta Wawa (BBB October 2009)

BBB October 2009 | Tanta Wawa In October 2009, Gretchen Noel (Canela Y Comino) wrote the following:

translated recipe | revised recipe

{BBB} Tanta Wawa

Food art is always impressive. Ice sculptures are chipped away with incredible patience. Vegetables are carved into magnificent flowers. People even “paint” beautiful pictures with beans and grains. Even children glue pasta onto construction paper to make a picture. Admit it, you enjoyed doing that too, right?

tanta wawatanta wawa

As soon as I was invited to be part of the Bread Baking Babes, I knew that when it was my turn to be Kitchen of the Month, I wanted to have my fellow babes attempt something Peruvian, and what better way to start than with one of the most creative bread art projects than the Tanta Wawa (or Guagua) which is made in abundance at this time of the year, especially in the mountain regions of Peru.

What are tanta wawas? They are delicate figures made of bread or cake, of different sizes, which represent children, animals or other forms depending on the region. The meaning comes from BREAD (PAN in Spanish & Tanta in Quechua) (BEBE in Spanish & Wawa in Quechua) or Bread in the form of a Baby. These breads are decorated with candies, raisins, anise, ceramics faces or glaze. People in the Andean regions give these breads as a gift during All Saints Day or Day of the Dead (November 1st & 2nd) which allows them to deal with familial relationships. On November 2nd, these bread babies are taken to the cemetaries in town so they can be left as offerings to those that have passed away and then are broken apart and eaten among the visitors. It is unknown when this Andean tradition began but it is known that from long ago, special breads were made and eaten in this manner. (Translated from viajeros.com)

Last November, I searched high and low in the city of Arequipa for the famous Guagua and was delighted to find beautiful bread loaves with painted ceramic heads. Because of the time required to create the tanta wawa, they are typically limited to the month of October. There is nothing more perfect than twelve bread baking babes baking bread babes. I am so glad they were willing to join in the fun and I had a blast making bread babies and animals. Check out other Bread Baking Babes Tanta Wawa breads also! […]

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)

Makes 4 small loaves

tanta wawa sponge:
1 egg
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of yeast

1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 cups of bread flour
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg yolk (for painting)

1. In a bowl create the sponge by combining 1/2 cup of flour, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of water, a pinch of instant yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir together, cover and let rest for a few hours.

2. In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and sesame seeds. Sprinkle over the sponge. Don’t stir. Cover and let rest for a few hours.

3. Add the 2 eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture. Measure the milk, water and butter in a measuring cup. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, pour into the flour mixture. Mix well, then turn out and knead for 10-15 minutes, using additional flour if necessary. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Form them into ovals. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

4. Stretch each dough ball into the form of a “fat baby” and place them on baking sheets. Cover with plastic and let the dough babies rise for 2 hours (there won’t be too much rise at this point).

5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Brush the egg yolks evenly over the dough babies. Bake bread at 180C for 30 minutes.

– Gretchen Noel, October 26th, 2009 | Tags: baby, Bread, canela, comida peruana, peru, peruvian food, recetas, recetas peruanas | Category: Bread, Provecho Peru, Recipes

Originally posted on http://www.canelaycomino.com/2009/10/bbb-tanta-wawa/

The above was a revision of the recipe that Gretchen gave to the BBBabes. What follows is the recipe that she translated from her Peruvian Bread Cookbook, making “the necessary changes for non-Peruvian ingredients”:

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)

  • 500g of whole wheat flour (25%)
  • 2 kilos of bread flour (100%) *note: the original calls for flour and mejorador which I have come to understand as gluten because of the low protein flour, thus I changed this to bread flour for the protein level
  • 675g of sugar (33.7%) *note: in Peru this would be azucar rubia which is semi raw sugar for which I will likely use a 2:1 combo of brown and white sugar
  • 125g of shortening (6.25%)
  • 100g of yeast (5%) *note: I am thinking this to be fresh yeast for which I will find the dry equivalent
  • 25g of salt (1.25%) *note: Peruvian salt is powdery not like the “umbrella girl” salt
  • 4 eggs (12.50%) *note: all eggs in Peru are not refrigerated…go with room temp eggs here
  • 25g of ground cinnamon (1.25%)
  • 5g of ground cloves (0.25%)
  • 25g of sesame seeds (1.25%)
  • 125g of butter (6.25%)
  • 200 milliliters of milk (10.25%) *note: likely whole milk
  • 300 milliliters of water (15.25%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (0.125%)
  • 4 egg yolks (for painting)
  1. Divide dough into 8 portiones of 500g each. Form them into ovals the size of your hand. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Stretch each dough ball into the form of a “fat baby”. (*note: This is where things are really vague…use the linked photos for ideas). Place them on baking sheets which have been greased and floured. Cover with plastic and let the dough babies grow to three times their size. (*note: no indication of how long! Sorry!)
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Brush the egg yolks over the dough babies. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes.

Helpful Websites:

  • http://vidasurrealista.lacoctelera.net/post/2006/12/06/en-peru-tambien-celebran-dia-los-muertos
  • http://ciudad-nn.blogspot.com/2007/11/si-bien-el-tema-puede-ser-algo.html
  • http://canteradecanterurias.blogspot.com/2007/10/larga-vida-las-tanta-wawas.html
  • http://www.daylife.com/photo/08oy9MH0IWeFP
  • http://zumbayllu.blogspot.com/2009/02/tantawawa-muneca-de-pan.html (this includes a slide show!)

tanta wawa


Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies): translated recipe | revised recipe

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ October 2009 bread: