Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The simplest things in life...

Recently I've discussing the joys of baking with children with some of my friends. It's when that magical moment comes when you are told to go away and they create something amazing by themselves.

My children are only small and so these magical moments work in a different way for me. They are just as creative and sometimes inspiring. So today I give you a recipe for a humble bread dough. The twist with this is i'm not going to tell you what shape to make it that's up to you. Don't be frightened, get your hands in. Break all the taboos and take a rolling pin to it and cut your favourite shapes out with cutters. It really doesn't matter so long as you give time to rise again after. 

Bread Dough

500g Strong White Flour
1tsp Instant Yeast
1tsp Salt
1tsp Sugar
300ml Warm Water (this should be hand warm not boiling!)

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6
  • Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a hole in the centre.
  • Pour the water into the middle and begin to mix the dry ingredients in
  • Once it has started to come together take out of bowl and start to kneed. This is not so hard and can take some of a bad day away! The trick is to do it for about 10 minutes (If you have a mixer put it all in with a dough hook and mix for 5 minutes). It should be well mixed and not too sticky in the end.
  • Shape into a ball and place back in the bowl with a tea towel over the top
  • Leave for 1 hour to allow to double in size
  • Take out, kneed briefly and play! Once you have made your shapes put them on to a baking tray and cover again with towel. After 30 mins place in oven. This is the only bit you will have to watch yourself! If you have made small shapes 15 minutes should be long enough but a whole big loaf could take up to 45 minutes! Don't panic, just keep an eye on it. Once the bread is golden brown it should be ready. Large loaves should be tapped underneath to make sure they are cooked (they should sounds hollow).

I really hope this helps you. I know there is the time element which can be tedious with youngsters so with the very small I tend to make the dough and allow it to rise first before getting them involved. And my surprise...? A lovely caterpillar! Clever thing put lots of balls together for her long creation!

Happy Baking!!