Tanta Wawa, Peruvian Bread Babies; I’m a Baking Babe again!

I’m playing with the Bread Baking Babes again!BBB logo october 2009

They didn’t kick me out of the sandbox, after all.

Which wouldn’t have been a surprise considering my shocking behavior over the past year and a half…. What with moving house, being imprisoned in Vlad’s house without an oven then, when I finally get an oven, having it catch fire.

No one can say I lack excuses.

I have to thank Gretchen, of Canela and Comino and this month’s Host, for a great way to get back into baking.

This is the first bread I’ve baked in my new kitchen, and the wonderful smells were the perfect inauguration.

Visit her blog for all the details on how to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month…. And you really should try this.

She has the new and improved recipe on her blog, but I made mine using her original recipe, scaled down to being enough for two people.  She tweaked it a bit to make it easier to work with.  I needed the upper body work-out….

On to the Babies!

Peruvian Bread Babies

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)

My recipes is all in weights, as was the original….

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)

500gr bread flour
125gr whole wheat flour
169gr raw sugar
63gr butter, soft
10gr of dry yeast
6.25 gr salt
6.25 gr ground cinnamon
1.25gr ground cloves
6.25gr sesame seeds
50ml milk
125ml water
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla

1 egg yolk



1. In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and sesame seeds. Make a well in the center and add in the shortening, eggs, butter, milk, water and vanilla. Mix well then turn out and knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 2 and form them into balls.

3. Stretch each dough ball into the form of a “fat baby”.  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. (I let them sit for 3 hours and they barely increased.  I think the adustments Gretchen did helped)



4. Preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Brush the egg yolks over the dough babies. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes.

Tanta Wawa, Peruvian Bread


Mine are Amish Babies…. Plain, with no faces.

I was just so happy to be baking.

And yes, the one on the right is missing his feet – I never could resist hot bread right out of the oven.

My only regret is that I made a smaller recipe – these were very, very good…

And very, very quickly gone!

The Bread Baking Babes
Bake My Day – Karen
Canela and Comino – Gretchen
Cookie Baker Lynn – Lynn
Grain Doe – Gorel
I Like To Cook – Sara
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Living on bread and water – Monique
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
The Sour Dough – Breadchick Mary
Thyme For Cooking – Katie

15 thoughts on “Tanta Wawa, Peruvian Bread Babies; I’m a Baking Babe again!”

  1. Yay for baking in the new house!!
    Love the little Amish babies, they look very serene. Even while having their feet eaten!

  2. These are just too cute! Love Elizabeth’s comment on the expression on their faces. You’ve given me my laugh for the morning. Glad you can bake again.

  3. Well , giving birth in your new kitchen …. how symbolic , even when they are only bread babes. Great job !

  4. Your Amish babies look perfect! Can’t wait to make these to go with a big bowl of soup. Already picturing my husband telling me to stop playing with my food as I make the Amish baby dance around the table *tee hee*

  5. Natashya, and they were good feet!
    Lynn, the wonderful smells….
    Elizabeth, and delicious!
    Thanks, breadchick… good to be playing instead of just watching again.
    Toni, try it, you’ll like it.
    Lien, I’m so happy to have a kitchen again.
    Tanna, it really is – touch wood that everything stays working properly.
    Penny, me, too. And I do love eating fresh bread.
    Baking Soda, plump babies are the best.
    Monique, I never thought of it that way…hehehe
    Cymry, and lots of melting butter….
    fioricet, they did remind me of gingerbread
    Ilva, good to be back..;-))
    Lydia, you’ve heard of it? Have you tried it?

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