Tag: bread

Animal rolls

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 1.5 hours proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 8+ rolls

Ingredients
450g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
50g butter, softened.
250ml lukewarm milk
1 egg
For decoration
Sultanas/raisins cut in half

 

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Hot cross buns

Homemade pitta bread

We’ve made rolls before, but never ones shaped into anything interesting. So when I saw someone make bread rolls into bunny rabbits on pinterest I thought we had to try that. We got a bit carried away though and ended up with a small menagerie of bunnies, hedgehogs, a tortoise, and a snail. I’m sure there are other things you could make so let you and your kids imagination run away with itself. Our animal rolls definitely looked more like animals going into the oven than they did coming out, but the kids really enjoyed making them (and eating them) so i’m considering them a success!

Method

Mix the dry ingredients
Get your child to measure the flour (450g) out and pour that into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.

 

Add the salt (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast. As you are using a whole packet of dried yeast you can get the smallest chefs involved by just pouring it all in.

  

Weigh the butter (50g) out. If it’s not softened, pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it’s soft, but not melted. This will make it easier to mix.

Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can either do this by hand or using a mixer. The mixer is obviously quicker but my kids really enjoyed getting their hands messy!

Add the egg and milk
Get your child to pour the milk (250ml) into a measuring jug, or a bowl on your scales set to ml. We put ours in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it lukewarm.


Make a well in the flour mixture then add the egg and milk.
Knead the dough

If you’re using a mixer, add the dough hook and turn it on to mix for 5 minutes or so. If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. We did a bit of both – started in the mixer until it was almost done, then the kids had a turn doing it by hand. They wouldn’t have had the patience to do it all by hand but really enjoy getting their hands messy!

 

Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Make the animal rolls
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Get your kids to knock it back (punch it) and knead it for a few minutes. Start by dividing your dough into 8-10 pieces and roll them into balls.

 

We made a few different animal rolls:
Hedgehogs, use half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose then get your child to make little snips all over the hedgehogs back with scissors to make the spines.
Bunnies: use the half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose and use scissors to snip two ears. Make them quite big as they shrink a little when the rolls rise/cook.
Tortoise: Roll 5 small round balls and attach for the head and legs, add the eyes and nose using the half sultanas/raisins. If you want you can also score across the back of the tortoise with a sharp knife to make the tortoise shell.
Snail: Make a sausage and roll up into a snail. Add the eyes and nose using half raisins/sultanas.

  

Put the rolls on a baking tray, spacing them well apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

Bake the rolls

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.
Bake the animal rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when they have turned golden and sound a bit hollow if you tap them underneath.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

animal rolls

 

Monkey bread

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 1 hour + 2 hours proving + 35 minutes baking

Serves: 12

Ingredients
For the dough
200ml milk
85g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
550g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2.5 tsp fast action dried yeast
50g golden caster sugar
Oil, for greasing
To assemble
125g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
140g pecans
For the glaze
100g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

I’d never heard of monkey bread until recently but Hannah loves to watch J House Vlogs (a channel on You Tube) and they’ve made it a few times. It looked delicious even though I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, so when I found a recipe in an old BBC Good Food magazine I knew we were going to make it.

If, like us you’ve never heard of it, it’s like a tear and share cinnamon bun loaf. It’s truly delicious and a great centre piece for a special occasion so thank you J House Vlogs for introducing us to this tasty treat!

On paper it looks like it takes a long time to make, especially if you’re doing it with little ones. You can break it down in to a few different steps – the first one is making the dough, and the second forming the balls that make up the bread. You can also make it the day before and let the dough prove in the fridge overnight. Just bring it out the fridge 45-60 minutes before you bake it.

Method

Start with the dough

Melt the butter and milk in a pan
Get your child to measure the butter (85g) out and put it in a pan.

Pour the milk (200ml) out into a jug (use the ml setting of your digital scales if you have them). Add that to the butter then heat over a low/medium heat until the butter has melted and the milk is at a simmer. Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, get your toddler to crack the eggs into a small dish and give them a quick whisk.

Add the eggs to the milk/butter mixture and give it a whisk.

Mix the dry ingredients together
Measure the flour (550g) and sugar (50g) out then add to a large bowl. If they are able to, get your little one to help measure the yeast (2.5 tsp), and add a pinch of salt into the bowl.

Make the dough
Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir until it is a sticky dough.

Leave for 5 minutes then tip out on to a lightly floured work surface. Get your children to help you knead it for 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and stringy. This is a good step to get everyone involved in, even really little chefs!

We cheated a little and used our freestanding mixer, with the dough hook at to give the dough a head start for a few minutes before doing it by hand. 10 minutes of kneading feels like a long time when you are a toddler so I like to cut it short if I can.

Let the dough prove
Oil a large bowl then add your dough and leave to prove somewhere warm for around an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Assemble the bread

Grease a 25cm bundt tin with butter.

Get your toddler to scatter the pecans out on a baking tray and then pop them in the oven for 5-8 minutes at 180C/160C Fan. Once they are toasted, chop them up.

While the pecans are toasting, get your child to measure out the butter and put it in a pan to melt.

Measure the sugar (225g) into a medium bowl. Add the spices (1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp nutmeg). Give it a mix.

Get your child to spoon 2 tbsp of the melted butter, 3 tbsp of the spiced sugar, and 4 tsbp of pecans into the bottom of the tin.

Pull the dough into approx 65 small pieces (we didn’t count this, we just did it roughly). Get your child to help you roll them into balls.

 

Take a few balls at a time, dip them into the melted butter, let the excess drain off, and then tip them into the spiced sugar. Roll them around to coat, then put them in the tin. Keep going until you have a full layer of balls in the tin.

 

Scatter over the remaining pecans, then carry on filling the tin with the remaining balls.

Tip any leftover sugar and butter over the dough.

Leave to prove
Cover the tin with oiled cling film then leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or so or until it has risen and the dough doesn’t spring back if you poke it.

At this point you can also pop the dough in the freezer for up to a month or in the fridge overnight, just let it come up to room temperature before you bake it.

Bake the monkey bread

Heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan.
Bake the monkey bread for 35 minutes. It’s ready when it has risen and turned golden.

Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then give it a sharp knock on the counter to loosen it from the tin. Leave to cool in the tin until it is just warm.

Make the glaze
Mix all the glaze ingredients together (100g icing sugar, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp milk, pinch of cinnamon, 2 tbsp melted butter). It will thicken a bit as it cools.

Turn the monkey bread out onto a plate and get your child to drizzle over the glaze and allow to set.

monkey bread

If your kids enjoyed making this monkey bread, then they might also like making shaped dinner rolls or hot cross buns.

Shaped dinner rolls

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 1.5 hours proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 12 rolls

Ingredients
450g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
50g butter, softened.
250ml lukewarm milk
1 egg

For the topping
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
Poppy seeds/sesame seeds

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We’ve not made any bread for a while – waiting for the dough to rise can take a while which puts me off – but it’s such a simple thing to do and the kids enjoy kneading the dough, so when we had a spare morning waiting in for a delivery recently we made some rolls together.

Although you do have to wait a while for the dough to rise, there are some easy steps for children to get involved with: they can have fun mixing, kneading the dough and shaping the rolls. And they were ready in time for lunch and were devoured by everyone which was a bonus. We’ll definitely be making these again!

Method

Mix the dry ingredients
Get your child to measure the flour (450g) out and pour that into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.

 

Add the salt (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast. As there is no measuring with the yeast, this is a good way for the youngest helpers to get involved.

  

Weigh the butter (50g) out. If it’s not softened, pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it’s soft, but not melted. This will make it easier to mix.

Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. We used our mixer so just used the paddle attachment and gave it a quick blast.

 
Add the egg and milk
Get your child to pour the milk (250ml) into a measuring jug, or a bowl on your scales set to ml. We put ours in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it lukewarm.

Make a well in the flour mixture then add the egg and milk.

 

Knead the dough

If you’re using a mixer, add the dough hook and turn it on to mix for 5 minutes or so. If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. We did a bit of both – started in the mixer until it was almost done, then the kids had a turn doing it by hand. They wouldn’t have had the patience to do it all by hand!

 

Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

 

Make the rolls
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Get your kids to knock it back (punch it) and knead it for a few minutes.

 

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into rolls.
We tried a few different styles. The kids were best at patting the dough into simple round rolls. If you have older children you could try a different type of roll: braids (make 3 long sausages pinch together at the top then make a plait); trefoils (divide the piece of dough into 3, roll into balls and stick together); knots (roll into a long snake and tie a single knot); cottage rolls (divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3, roll into balls, pop the small one on top).

Put the rolls on a baking tray, spacing them well apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Bake the rolls
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.

Mix the egg yolk and water (1 tbsp) together in a little dish. Get your toddler to brush on to the top of the rolls. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if you are using them.

Bake the rolls in the oven for 15 minutes. They are ready when they have turned golden and sound a bit hollow if you tap them underneath.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

shaped dinner rolls

Homemade pitta bread

Difficulty: A bit of a faff

Time: 30 minutes + 1-2 hrs proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: makes 6 pitta bread

img_1805-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

350g white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp easy-blend yeast
210ml water
1 tbsp olive oil

 

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We make our own pizzas quite often but I’ve not made homemade pitta bread since having the kids. It’s a similar process so I thought we’d give it a go. It’s obviously not as quick as opening a pack from the supermarket but it was a fun thing to do in a free afternoon and homemade bread always tastes nice!

Method

Mix together your ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (350g) into a bowl.

Add the salt (1.5 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast (1 tsp) into different corners of the bowl. You need to be relatively accurate with these measurements so you might be better doing this bit yourself or just getting your little one to help you.

img_1808-small
Pour the water (210 ml) and oil (1 tbsp) into the bowl a little at a time. Use a spoon (or your hands) to mix until all the flour comes away from the side and you have a soft dough. You might not need to add all the water – you want the dough to be soft, not sticky.

img_1810-small img_1816-small

Kneed your dough
Put a little oil on your work surface to stop the dough sticking. Put the dough on top and start kneading. You’ll need to do it for 5-10 minutes until it looks smooth. We probably did it for a lot longer though as Hannah was having fun. She even gave Lewis a quick lesson in how to knead although I’m not sure whether their poking technique is exactly conventional!

img_1817-small img_1821-small img_1823-small

img_1825-small img_1830-sml

Once you’re done, place it in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it somewhere warm until it has doubled in size.

img_1834-small img_1847-sml
Preheat the oven to 250C

Place a baking tray or baking stone on the middle shelf.

Make the pitta breads
Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knock it back (fold it inwards again and again until the air has gone – or just get your toddler to man handle it!)

Split the dough into 6 equal sized balls then roll each into a 3-5mm oval shape.

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Remove the baking tray from the oven, sprinkle with flour and place the pitta bread on it.

Bake for 5-10 minutes. They’re ready when they’ve started to colour – some of ours also puffed up really nicely into big pockets.

pitta bread