Tag: bread

cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 25 minutes + 20 minutes proving + 20 minutes baking

Serves: 9


2 and ¾ cups plain flour (330g)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 packet dried fast action yeast (1 packet = 2 and ¼ teaspoons)
½ cup water (120ml)
¼ cup milk (60ml)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (30g)
1 large egg

For the filling:
¼ cup (60g)  unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup (60g) brown sugar

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk or coffee

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This recipe for cinnamon rolls is amazing because it uses a ‘cheats’ way of proving the dough so only takes 45 minutes! Before I tried it I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but you just need to pop the unproved cinnamon rolls in a cool (90C) oven for 20 minutes and voila they’re ready to go. It couldn’t be simpler.


Line a 9 inch square baking tray with baking paper.

Make the dough
Mix the dry ingredients

Get your children to measure out the flour (2 & ¾ cups), sugar (3 tbsp), salt (1 tsp) and yeast and mix together in a large bowl. Set aside for now.

Add the wet ingredients

Measure the water ½ cup and milk (1/4 cup) into a microwaveable bowl. Measure the butter (30g), cut into a few small pieces and add to the water/milk. Pop in the microwave for approx 45 seconds until the butter has melted. Test the mixture is warm rather than hot – I just dipped my finger in. (If it’s too hot it’ll kill the yeast).


Add the milk/butter mixture to the flour.

Get your little one to crack the egg into a small bowl. Add to your flour.

Knead your mixture for 3-4 minutes, either by hand or using the dough hook on a stand mixer. We used our mixer as it’s a bit easier and less messy. It’s ready when it’s not sticky anymore.


Pop it in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.

Make the cinnamon rolls

Preheat your oven to 90C (200F) and turn off after 10 minutes or just before your put your rolls inside.
While your dough is resting, measure out filling. Make sure your butter (60g) is soft enough so spread. Mix the cinnamon (2 tbsp) and sugar (¼ cup) together in a small bowl.

Roll the dough out to a 15×9 inch rectangle.

Spread the butter all over the top. We used a rubber spatula rather than a knife as it was a bit kinder on the dough.

Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the top.

Get your child to roll the dough up tightly, then cut into 9 even pieces. Hannah was able to cut it if I showed her where.


Put each piece in your baking tray and lightly cover with tin foil. Pop the cinnamon rolls in the oven to rise. Make sure you remember to turn the oven off. Let it rise for 20 minutes or so.


After 20 minutes, keep the buns in the oven, remove the tin foil and turn the oven up to 190C / 180C Fan / 375F.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 minutes. They’re ready when they have turned golden.

Make the glaze

Mix the icing sugar (1 cup), milk (1-2 tbsp) and vanilla extract (1 tsp) together until it is smooth, runny and lump free.
Drizzle the glaze over the rolls while they are still warm.



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shaped dinner rolls

Shaped dinner rolls

Difficulty: Easy

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

Serves: 12 rolls

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!


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

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hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

Difficulty: Medium

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

Serves: 12 buns


For the dough
450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
150ml warm milk
1 egg, beaten
oil, for greasing

The spices and dried fruit
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
100g raisins (or any other sultanas/currents/peel etc)

For decoration
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp granulated flour


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With Easter just around the corner, Hannah might be excited that the Easter bunny is coming but i’m more happy that it’s hot cross bun season! I’ve never made them before but it was quite easy – just like making any bread or pizza dough. We shortened the length of time we left the dough to rise (there’s only so many times you can expect a toddler to wait patiently) but they still turned out well and were nicer than the usual ones we get from the supermarket.


Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl
First, get your toddler to weigh the flour (450g) and sugar (50g) into the bowl. While they’re doing that, measure in the salt (pinch). Open the two packets of yeast, and add them to the bowl.

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Prepare the wet ingredients
Measure the butter (50g), then melt it either in the microwave or gently over the hob. Measure the milk (150ml) into a jug and heat that gently (we popped in the microwave as well.) Neither need to be too hot as that will kill the yeast – lukewarm/tepid so you can comfortably hold your finger in the mixture is about right.

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Make a well in middle of the flour and break the egg into the centre. If you’re worried about shell, break it in a separate bowl first. Mix it a little before adding the butter, milk and 50 ml of warm water.

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Make the dough
Mix everything together until you have a soft dough. Start using a spoon and once it starts to come together finish with your hands. If the mixture is too dry (ours was) just add a little more warm water. If it’s too wet, add more flour. It should be able to come together to form a ball.


Knead the dough in your bowl or lightly oiled or floured work surface until it becomes smooth and springy. It’ll take at least 5-10 minutes or longer depending on how much fun you’re having!

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Pop it in a clean bowl, cover it and leave in a warm place until it has roughly doubled in size. It’ll probably take about an hour depending on how warm it is.

Make the hot cross buns
While the dough is rising, measuring the fruits and spices into a bowl. (1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 nutmeg, 100g fruit).

Once the dough has risen, tip it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds then add the fruit and spices. Knead the dough until it is all evenly distributed.

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* At this point we started to run out of time so cut out the next step. They turned out pretty well without it though so I might not bother with it in the future.

Leave to rise for another hour until it has doubled in size again.

Once it’s ready, tip it onto your work surface again and knead for a few seconds. Divide into 12 even balls. We rolled out 4 sausages, then divided each into 3 pieces before rolling into balls.

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Put them on to a greased baking tray or a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave a little room between them as they’ll expand. Mark a cross on top of each bun using a sharp knife then cover them loosely and leave them to rise for 20 minutes or so. They should roughly double in size again.


Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan.

Bake the buns
Before you put the buns in the oven, mix the plain flour with enough water to make a thick paste. Use a piping bag or a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the buns are golden. When they’re ready they’ll sound hollow if you tap them on the bottom.


Take the hot cross buns out the oven and while they’re still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan and brush it over the buns to give them a nice glaze.

hot cross buns

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banana and blueberry bread

Banana and blueberry bread

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 35 mintes + 1 hour baking

Serves: 8 – 10 slicesimg_1867-sml





1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour (or use this with a mixture of plain flour)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup bananas (we used 4), the riper the better.
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (we didn’t have any so used golden syrup)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)


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We love to bake in our house and its the easiest thing to do with Hannah as it doesn’t tend to involve knives or the cooker. I can’t help but think however of all the sugar and unhealthy stuff that goes into baking and wonder what it’s doing to our waistlines! So now i’m on a mission to find healthier recipes for all our favourites. This banana and blueberry bread was our first attempt at a low sugar cake – I think we cheated slightly as it’s still got sugar in it, just in a different form but it was tasty and the whole wheat flour makes it feel a bit healthier than our usual one.


Preheat your oven to 180C and prepare your baking tin

Get your toddler to butter a loaf tin, then set it aside.

Mix together the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (1.5 cups) into a bowl.

Add the baking powder (1 tsp), baking soda (1/2 tsp) and salt (1/4 tsp). Hannah can’t quite do this herself so she helped me level off each spoon before putting it into the bowl.

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Mix together the wet ingredients
Start by measuring the butter (1/4 cup), and then melt it in a bowl in the microwave.

While the butter is melting, peel and mash the bananas. As you can imagine, this was Hannah’s favourite part!

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Mix the butter and bananas together 
Get your little one to crack the eggs into a bowl then add them to the banana mixture. (You could add the eggs straight in if you’re confident you wont end up with a lot of shell.) Add the vanilla (1 tsp) and golden syrup (1/3 cup) then stir until it’s well mixed.

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Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ones
Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir together until it’s just combined. Try not to over mix it (which can be a bit of a challenge if your little one is in charge!)


Add the blueberries
Gently fold in the blueberries (1 cup). We weren’t too careful about the quantity we put it – Hannah just threw in a few handfuls so you can put in as many or as few as you like.


Bake your banana and blueberry bread
Pour the batter in and bake for 50-60 minutes. To test if it’s ready, stick a metal skewer or knife in the middle – it should come out clean.


Let your bread and blueberry cool in the tin for ten minutes or so. Remove the bread from the tin to a cooling rack and enjoy!

banana and blueberry bread

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