Tag: lunch

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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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

 

Bacon, leek and cheese muffins

Difficulty: A bit of a faff

Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking

Serves: 4img_3384-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 leek, trimmed
100g butter, melted
4 rashers bacon, chopped
300g Asda self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp paprika
2 large eggs
175ml semi-skimmed milk
150g extra mature Cheddar, grated

 

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Cheese scones


Corn fritters

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t always have a lot of time to make interesting things for lunch but in the summer holidays we’ve had a few opportunities to spend a bit of time and prepare something a bit different. These bacon, leek and cheese muffins I found on ASDA’s Good Living website were worth the effort and you could make it a bit easier by preparing all filling in advance and just getting your kids to help measure out the rest and mix it all together.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 160C Fan and prepare the baking dish
Get your toddler to lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tray.

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Prepare the leek and bacon
Trim the leeks, cut into quarters lengthways then slice finely. Cook in a tbsp of butter over a low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside. If your child is a bit older and you trust them they could perhaps help stir the leeks while they’re cooking.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small strips then add to the leeks and cook through.

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Make the muffin mixture
Get your child to measure the flour into a bowl. Add the baking powder, mustard, paprika and a pinch of salt. Grate the cheese into the bowl (we didn’t bother weighing it, just added a good chunk!)

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Measure the butter then melt in a separate bowl. We normally do this in the microwave but you can do it on the hob instead.

Get your toddler to crack the eggs into a bowl or measuring jug. Lightly beat them. Add the milk and the melted butter then mix together.

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Bake the muffins
Add the bacon & leeks, and egg & milk mixtures to the bowl of flour. Stir everything together until it’s nicely mixed. Don’t over mix or the muffins may be tough.

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Divide the mixture between the muffin tins.

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Bake your bacon, leek and cheese muffins in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are nice and golden.

img_3404-small bacon, leek and cheese muffins

 

Cheese scones

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes + 10 minutes baking

Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients
225g self raising flour
1 pinch salt
55g butter
25g Cheddar cheese
150ml milk

 

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My kids are cheese fiends so these cheese scones make a good snack or lunch treat. There’s only a few ingredients so they don’t take long to make and are delicious served straight from the oven.

Method

Pre heat the oven to 200C/190C Fan
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper

Mix the flour and butter together
Get your child to measure the flour (225g) into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt.

 

Weigh the butter (55g), then cut it into small pieces before adding to the flour. Rub it together with your hands until it is nicely combined.

Grate your cheese (25g) and add to the flour, and again using your hands, mix it all in.

   

Add the milk
Measure the milk into a jug. Make a well in the middle of your flour mixture, then slowly add the milk until you have a soft but firm dough. Don’t add it all at once, as you might not need it all to get it to the right consistency.

 

Make the cheese scones
Lightly sprinkle flour on to your work surface. Roll out or pat down the dough until it is about 2cm thick. Using a cutter (or a glass if you don’t have any) cut out your scones and pop them on the baking tray.

 

Bake the scones
Brush the tops with a little milk then bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

They’re best served warm with butter or more cheese.

cheese scones

Homemade pitta bread

Difficulty: A bit of a faff

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

Serves: makes 6 pitta bread

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

Corn fritters

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 10 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

Serves: 4img_1449-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
100g self raising flour
¼ tsp mustard powder
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
140g sweetcorn

 

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We like corn fritters (or sweetcorn pancakes as Hannah calls them) for a simple lunch. Lewis enjoys his finger food at the moment and as you can cut them into strips they are a good way of getting a few vegetables into him.

Method

Measure out the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (100g) into a bowl using a spoon. While she’s doing this add the mustard powder (1/4 tsp) and season with salt and pepper.

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Measure out the wet ingredients then mix into the flour
Break the 2 eggs into a separate bowl or measuring jug. You could add them straight in, but I tend to break them into a different bowl in case you need to fish out some egg shell (which i normally do). Add the milk (3 tbsp). Your toddler can help you measure these out as it doesn’t matter too much if you put a little too much in.

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Give your toddler a fork or whisk and get them to mix the egg and milk together. Pour the mixture slowly into the flour and stir it together.

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Add the sweetcorn your mixture.
Cook your corn fritters
Heat a little oil in a pan and then dollop your mixture into little fritters. Cook for a few minutes on each side. I don’t normally let Hannah help when I’m using the hob so she just watches from her spot on the counter. They’re ready when they’re browned a little on each side.

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Serve and enjoy!

img_1468-small corn fritters

Corn fritters

Ingredients

100g self raising flour
¼ tsp mustard powder
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
140g Sweetcorn

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Difficulty: Easy

Time: 10 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

Serves: 4

We like corn fritters (or sweetcorn pancakes as Hannah calls them) for a simple lunch. Lewis enjoys his finger food at the moment and as you can cut them into strips they are a good way of getting a few vegetables into him.

Method

Measure out the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour into a bowl using a spoon. While she’s doing this add the mustard powder and season with salt and pepper.

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Measure out the wet ingredients then mix into the flour
Break the 2 eggs into a separate bowl or measuring jug. You could add them straight in, but I tend to break them into a different bowl in case you need to fish out some egg shell (which i normally do). Add the milk. Your toddler can help you measure these out as it doesn’t matter too much if you put a little too much in.

Give your toddler a fork or whisk and get them to mix the egg and milk together. Pour the mixture slowly into the flour and stir it together.

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Pour the sweetcorn your mixture.
You can either measure them out accurately, or throw in a few handfuls until it looks like enough (which is what we did – it’s much easier for a toddler to do it that way!)

Cook your fritters
Heat a little oil in a pan and then dollop your mixture into little fritters. Cook for a few minutes on each side. I don’t normally let Hannah help when I’m using the hob so she just watches from her spot on the counter but if they are old enough you can get them to help you flip them. They’re ready when they’re browned a little on each side.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Eggy bread

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 5 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

Serves: 2img_1231-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

4 slices of bread
3 eggs
Milk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggy bread, or french toast is one of our favourite lunches. It’s one of the few ways Hannah will eat egg, and thankfully, now that Lewis is on solids he seems to be a fan too. Now that we’ve made this together a few times, Hannah can almost do the whole thing for herself with just a little supervision.

Method

Crack the eggs into a bowl
Get your toddler to gently tap the egg on the rim of the bowl. Once it starts to crack they can push their fingers in and crack it open. With a bit of practice Hannah has become quite good at this but if a bit of shell does slip in I just use a larger bit to fish it out (shell sticks better to shell than it does your finger).

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Add a splash of milk
You just enough to loosen the mixture a little – a table spoon or two. You might want to add some seasoning at this point. I tend to leave out salt and pepper if the kids are eating with us though.

Whisk the eggs
This is always Hannah’s favourite part. Either give your toddler a fork or a hand whisk to mix the eggs and milk together.

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Coat the bread in the egg mixture
Dip one slice of bread in the eggs. This is an easy thing for your toddler to help with. Once one side is coated they can just use their hands to turn it over and do the other side. (Make sure you wipe their hands once you’re finished.)

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Fry the bread
Add a little oil to a frying pan, then cook the bread for 2-3 minutes on each side. Use a fish slice to flip it over. I don’t tend to let Hannah near the hob yet, as I can’t quite trust her not to burn herself. She’s allowed on the counter still but i’ve set a boundary that she’s not allowed to cross when the gas is on. To keep her busy I try and get her to help get plates and cutlery ready.

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Serve
Use a fish slice to pop the eggy bread on to plates and serve. We sometimes just enjoy it with a bit of butter but you could add jam or fruit – anything you like really, sweet or savoury.