- 900 grams (almost 7 cups) bread flour
- 550 grams (2.3 cups) water, warm
- 7 grams (2.5 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 15 grams (2 2/3 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 20 grams (1.5 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 coffee beans
- 8 peppercorns (if making baby spiders)
Make the Dough
- In the bowl of a mixer, add in the flour, water, and yeast. On low, mix just until the flour is almost all pulled in. Stop the mixer and add in the salt. Mix for a minute on low then pour in the oil. Mix for about 8 -10 minutes or until the dough forms a somewhat smooth ball. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be wet/tacky to the touch. If needed, add a tablespoon of flour or so to help combine. If it’s too dry, you may need to add a few tablespoons of water. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a very lightly floured surface. Give it a few kneads to form the dough into a smooth ball tucking the ‘ends’ underneath.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, dry place to double in size. This can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature. If you have a dough proofer, set it to 100F for 1 hour and place the covered bowl inside.
Assemble the Spider
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. *If making baby spiders, you will need a second cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle lightly with semolina though it’s not necessary. When the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. With a kitchen scale and bench scraper, divide the dough into 3 sizes – 182 grams for the head, 600 grams for the body, 818 grams for the legs. *See note for making 1 huge spider with no baby spiders.
- Take the large dough piece and form it into a smooth ball. As best as possible, palm the dough with a slightly cupped hand. Gently start to push down on the dough ball while rolling the ball round and round under the palm of your hand. Be sure to use the cupped sides of your hand to keep the ball centered under your palm. I find this part easier to do on a not-so-floured surface. You want just a very slight tackiness to the dough. Once the ball is formed, place it on the parchment paper (about two-thirds of the way down on the large cookie sheet). See the image for an example.
- Repeat the same process for the dough for the head. Leave about a 2-2.5” space between the head and the body on the parchment.
- Take the dough for the legs and divide it into 8 pieces (or only 4 if not making baby spiders). For 8 legs you’re looking at Roll them into long logs (making 2 pieces shorter 2 longer for the big spider and the same for mini spiders). Place the 2 shorter legs on the large cookie sheet– one curling around the head and going up and another curling around the body and going down. The longer legs place on top with one going up and out and the other going down and out.
- For the remaining logs, divide the log into a body, head, and 4 little legs and shape accordingly, placing them on the other large cookie sheet.
- Lightly spray with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise a 2nd time for 30-45 minutes or until the spiders have puffed up. Again, the ambient temperature will affect how fast/slow the rise is.
Bake the Spider
- Preheat the oven to 400F. When ready to bake, uncover the large spider, place the coffee beans into the head for the eyes, and brush the whole thing with egg wash. Bake fo4 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 200F. Remove from the oven and CAREFULLY transfer the spider from the parchment to a cooling rack. For the mini spiders, use the peppercorns as the eyes, brush with egg wash, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Place on the cooling rack as the large one.
Carve the Spider
- Using a serrated knife, cut a hole into the body without going all the way through the bottom or sides, pulling out as much bread as you need to fit the dip. Toast up the bread that was pulled out as dipping pieces along with the mini spiders. Fill with your favorite dip and enjoy!
For 1 large spider the dough weights are:
- 294 grams for the Head
- 900 grams for the Body
- 406 grams for the Legs
Recipe time does not include proofing or cooling