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On the seventh day…Salt Dough Wreath

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On the seventh day of Christmas Stephen baked for me…a Salt Dough Wreath. Today’s post takes a slightly different route to all my previous posts (ever) due to the fact that you cannot actually eat this! Well I suppose you could but 1-it wouldn’t taste nice at all and 2-it would not be in any form good for you.

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Salt dough, for those of you who don’t know, is made of 2 parts flour to 1 part salt and 1 part water. It is the quickest and easiest way to make your own highly impressive decorations. There are literally endless options with this. As long as you have a good imagination you can create whatever you like. The dough is so forgiving that any mistakes are easily fixed. The other big bonus is that this is the cheapest thing you will ever bake. The flour or salt should be the cheapest, tackiest, worst quality you can find as it will never touch human lips!

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This post really takes me way back to my childhood. My mum used to keep my siblings and myself occupied by whipping up a few batches of this (in 5 minutes too) and letting us make whatever we wanted. I remember she had a whole book dedicated to the art of salt dough craft and we recently found it in the house again; cue more inspiration.

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I decided to make a wreath for this post as they are such a spectacular way to decorate your house. I had no plan of what I was going to make beforehand so I really just went with the flow and made what I thought would look well. I have to say that I am really pleased with the results.

You will need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

How to do it:

1. Mix together all ingredients until a smooth ball. If you want to dye any dough do it now, I used some instant coffee to dye some brown.
2. Roll out about 1/3-1/2 the dough to make a rope about 60 cm long and form into large circle.
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You can cross it over like I have here, all you have to do is line the 2 ropes up cross one over the other from one end and continues all the way down. This is your base.
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3. Make shapes, people, animals, leaves-whatever you like to decorate the base. Below I have outlined a few different things you can make to get you started.

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Apple: Shape a small piece into a ball. CIMG5329
Press the long end of a clove into one end and then the short end into the other.
Brush with a little water and stick to the wreath. Repeat as many times as you like.

 

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Pear: Make a ball the same as the apple but this time roll one end out slightly longer.
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Apply the cloves as before and brush with some water to combine. 

 

Lemon: Make a ball the same as before but roll out both ends just a little to extend.

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Using a fine grater roll it back and forth the make indentations.

Orange: Make a ball and attach to the base. Prick all over with a cake tool or toothpick to create dimples.
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Cinnamon sticks: Roll out 2 pieces of the dough to 1-2 mm thick. Roll up and place 2 together to look like cinnamon sticks. Apply some water to attach to the base.

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Leaves: If you have a leaf shaped cutter-great. If not-don’t worry. Cut out a rough leaf shape, slit the edges to look like veins and make an impression in the middle to look like the stem. Attach with some water.

4. When you have completely decorated the base place into a low oven at about 120C/100C fan and bake for 3-4 hours until completely dry and hard. Once cool you can apply a thin coat of varnish ad your wreath will last a lifetime. You can also paint it any colours you like before varnishing.

I really had fun doing this one and even made a little mouse:

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And a little robin red breast:

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I did think about painting this one a load of different colours but I actually quite like this 2 tone finish. What you do is entirely up to you. You can hang this on your door-just use a wooden spoon to make a hole right the way through before baking. Or you can make a few indentations the size of small candles and make it into a candle holder. As I say the possibilities are endless.

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Hopefully you’ll give this one a go and have as much fun doing it as I have!

Thanks for reading,

Stephen

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