Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Making Bread

 Today we made bread!

When making bread, we tell a story...

First we have to make some soup for the hungry yeast. We mix 2 cups very warm water and a big spoonful of honey. This is the soup. The yeastie beasties are VERY hungry and so we add a T of yeast to the soup and watch them eat. When they get foamy we know they are happy and well fed.

When the yeast are all full, it begins to snow! We sprinkle 4 cups of flour over them, taking turns stirring and kneading and sprinkling until the snow storm has passed. Sometimes it's a blizzard, an avalanche, and sometimes just a light blanket. We add a dash of sea salt.

Once the flour is all mixed in, and it's hard for us to stir and the dough isn't sticky anymore, it's time for the dough to take a nap. The dough is VERY tired after all that work. We put it to bed (large bowl), cover it with a blanket (kitchen towel) and let it sleep. We now consider our dough to be a baby. We know that naps make us BIG and strong, and so we have to wait for our dough baby to grow big and strong, too.   

After about an hour, we gently and lovingly uncover our dough baby and check on it. Our baby has grown SO big!! It's time for our dough baby to wake up and play. I add flour to everyone's workstation on the table, and sprinkle flour on everyone's hands, then pull off big blobs and give one to each child. 

Now they can fold, knead, squeeze and punch down their dough until it's just right. 

Many talk to their dough babies, " I love you my little dough baby, but I am going to have to eat you soon. Don't worry, I'll make more of you again!!"

Letting it snow / sprinkling flour onto the yeast mixture.


More stirring.

More snow.

It's getting thicker and more solid now.

Time for the dough to rest and take a nap.

After an hour, the dough has risen to twice it's size!

Kneading the dough.

Placing shapes onto baking sheets. The kids can make ANY shape they want.

You can see everyone does something different. Some like big blobs, some prefer to roll small blobs, some do snakes and worms. It all ends up just fine!

This recipe really makes quite a bit. It takes me 3-4 cookie sheets and two oven batches to bake these.

Now we let the dough rest a little longer, maybe 20-30 more minutes. It's hard work being shaped and punched!

Then I place them in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

With this recipe, the dough doesn't rise much more, and it bakes pretty quick. I take out smaller pieces and let larger ones bake a little longer. This dough isn't dark when it's done, it stays pretty light.  

We also made honey butter.

A lovely snack time outside on this cool sunny day. 
Warm handcrafted bread fresh from the oven and sweet butter. Yum!

Taste wise, the bread is a little sweet but not too much. The bread is dense and not like loaf bread. This particular recipe is great for kids because it has very few ingredients and it's really easy to make. It's almost nearly impossible to make a mistake. And best of all the kids get to make their own pieces, rather than a larger shared loaf, which is fun, too, but this is a nice way to show their creativity and be expressive in their baking. Also, the kids get their own baked items when they are done, so they get to see what their creations look like at the end. And they can take their leftover pieces or piece home to share with family or save it for later. 

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