Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making Bread

Today was a bread kinda day - bread bread and more bread! One of the classes at my kids' school had won a contest in December and I gave them a list of things they could have as a prize. The teacher wrote them on the board, the kids voted, and making bread won by a landslide! This morning I made three batches of dough, divided it into 18 pieces, put each piece in a baggie, then took it to the class where the kids had fun shaping it. I then brought it home, baked it, piled it all into a basket and took it back to the class (with butter of course!) and they dug in. We all had an absolute blast!

Want to see their creations? We had everything from a turtle to a spaceship!
The teacher was so grateful - she told me some of the kids' comments..."I've never made bread before", and "I never knew you could make bread - I thought you just bought it at the store". She said most of the kids had never done anything like it. Broke my heart! I mean, they chose to make bread over having a pizza party. Go figure!

Of course then I thought of my own kids and felt guilty that I hadn't done it with them in a while. I had to come home and make another batch so my own kids could have fun with it. Gosh darn it, I want my kids to grow up knowing that yes you can make your own food, and no it doesn't all have to come from a store! I've let them play with bread dough a few times over the years but not enough, and that is going to change.

Here's a pic of Coleman with his bread he shaped into his name...
So tell me, is this a common thing now, that kids aren't cooking and baking at home? Is it just that now a lot of the time Mom needs to work to help pay the bills and the last thing she feels like doing when she gets home is baking? I was working part time last year so I definitely understand that feeling. Do YOU bake with your kids? Or is it just an unnecessary dying art? Oh so many philosophical questions. All over bread! I'll end this post with the recipe I use - it's fast, easy, and has no milk eggs or butter so is great for those with dairy allergies. I use my Kitchen Aid to mix it, so that is how I'll write the recipe.

BREAD (makes 20 rolls)

Put ingredients in bowl in the following order:

2 Cups warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 Cup sugar
4 Cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 Cup oil

Mix with dough hook on mixer for approx 10 mins, adding a little more water or flour if needed. Dough should be a little sticky, and not dry at all.

Let rise until doubled in size,(approx 1 hour.)

Punch down, shape into rolls/loaves/whatever and place onto baking pan.

Let rise again (approx 1/2 hour) and brush with an egg/milk wash if you want it shiny, or dust with flour if you want it...floury!

Bake for 20 mins at 425 F.

I use this recipe for everything - dinner rolls, bread, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, pizza base, cheese bread, pretzels, you name it! You can also substitute some wheat flour, say half white, half wheat, and it's really yummy.


cajunquilter said...

I am not sure about the rest, but both my daughters love to cook and bake, and they do both often with their children. Both my daughters work full time. So I guess it depends if the moms like to do it or not.

Lynne said...

Brilliant that you have given these children something to remember and aspire to. I find it very sad that so many families seldom sit down to a home-cooked meal. I know how busy many mothers are these days, but I found (before I retired I was a paediatric nurse and health visitor, so went into many homes) even where mums are NOT out at work, home cooking is not happening in many homes.
I too used to go into schools and read or do simple cookery with the children, more power to your elbow, and you are doing a terrific service!

Aliceart said...

Thank you for sharing your recipe. Can't wait to try it, and bake some innovative shapes. I don't bake as much as I used to due to weight and health issues that make it a rare treat for our aging bodies. Fresh warm yeast bread is still one of my most favorite things in the world!