Baking with children is a fabulous and fun way of passing the time. Whether you are making biscuits, cakes or bread, it is all possible. It is a wonderful way to get children to embrace different occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Easter and they get very excited when they can bake special things for family member’s birthdays or make a Christmas cookie, which certainly gets them into the seasonal spirit. As long as you keep things simple it can’t really go wrong to be honest.
Baking bread is easy and in my experience baking bread with children is not just heaps of fun, but is also a good way of demonstrating that it is possible to take control over what we eat when we make and prepare our own food. It is also beneficial in teaching them not only where food comes from, but what is and isn’t healthy and what should be seen as a treat! Baking and cooking is a life skill that should be taught to all children.
From my experience children absolutely love getting their hands stuck into the dough and covered with flour, I am always absolutely stunned by how much interest the children show in the whole process. We all know that a child’s mind is curious and it is great see how they take it all in and get excited by knowing where all the ingredients come from and how it all comes together to make a loaf of bread. Whilst making their little loaves the children get very creative with shapes and toppings and it is quite apparent how much they actually enjoy the whole process from making the dough to receiving their loaves from the oven. Their faces couldn’t shine more brightly.
Here is an easy bread recipe you can try at home:
- 340g Wholemeal Bread Flour
- 340g unbleached white bread flour
- 13g Salt
- 13g fresh yeast
- 400ml Water
- Electric mixer with the 3 basic tools such as a paddle, a dough hook and a whisk.
- Various size bowls
- Scale preferably one that does 1g steps
- Dough scraper
- Measuring jug,
- Silicone paper
- Tins and trays
- Cooling rack
- Piping bag if you want to use icing
- Bake stone (If you really want to push the boat out and get serious about bread baking a bake stone is also a good thing have)
- Using an electric mixer with a hook attached, on a slow speed, mix until all ingredients are combined. Turn mixer to fast and mix for another 7-8 minutes.
- Tip dough onto lightly floured surface and shape to a ball. Place this in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave the dough to rest until it has doubled in size (1hour)
- Place dough on lightly floured surface again, knock back and knead until you have a tight ball. Divide into 4 equal pieces, shape into cylinders and place into 10-12cm tins. Place those in a warm place to prove until they have doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 240 degrees Celsius (220 if fan assisted).
- Place your tins in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully take loaves out of the oven and tins and place on wire rack to cool.
Optional finish: sprinkle top with flour or seeds before prove. If using seeds, spray dough cylinders with a little water to make seeds stick.