When my children were small, each week we would go to a play group where the first activity of the morning was to make bread. It was a wonderfully calm, focused and absorbing activity for the children and adults alike, and one of my fondest memories of their early years.
The children would make their own little bread roll which would rise and be baked during the course of the morning. And when it was time to go home, each child would be given their own bread to take.
….And there is something wonderful about home made bread, it has taste, real texture and is a meal all on its own. So for picnics at the allotment, make your own bread and pick rocket, salad leaves, radishes and tomatoes for a home grown filling!
For all your gardening needs from raised beds, to compost bins, cold frames to wildlife goodies visit www.recycleworks.co.uk. We also sell a wide range of gardening products specially designed for children, including tools, gloves, allotment plots, wormeries and compost bins.
…Back to the business of making bread, with the possible exception of bread machine converts, we are not really a generation of bread makers and the whole process can seem a bit daunting. But by following a few easy steps the results can be amazing.
When bread making with the under 10’s we recommend preparing the dough in advance, up to step 10, and dividing the mixture into balls to make rolls. Each child can then finish their own fairly easily.
Just over a pint of tepid water
2 sachets of dried yeast
1 dessert spoon of brown sugar
5 cups of strong white flour (note our cup takes around 160g of flour)
2 cups of either wheat bran, ground oatmeal, wholemeal flour or granary flour (experiment to see which you prefer)
Handfull of seeds – choose from chopped chesnuts, linseed, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc
- Take just over 1 pint of tepid water in a jug
- Add 2 sachets of dried yeast
- Whisk with 1 dessert spoon of brown sugar until dissolved
- In a separate large deep bowl add 5 cups of strong white flour
- Add 2 cups of either wheat bran, ground oat meal, wholemeal flour or granary flour. These give the bread a little more texture.
- Add contents of the jug
- Stir round and then with your hands form into a ball of dough
- If its too sticky add a little more flour but don’t add too much
- Work the dough by stretching, folding and kneading for 10 to 15 minutes
- Stand in a covered bowl in a slightly warm place until twice the size (about an hour)
- Knead for a second time for around 3 to 4 minutes
- At this stage you can add seeds of your choice, and little hands love to prod them into the dough
- Put into bread tins or make into roll shapes. When making rolls with little ones there is the chance to be creative, so try cobs, plaits and cottage rolls
- When the children have finished leave the dough to rise a second time, for around half an hour and until it doubles in size
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes for rolls. For a loaf allow 30 – 35 minutes at Gas mark 4 to 5 or 180 C.
- When the bread is cooked, place on a rack until cool. Store in a sealed tin or bag to keep the bread fresh for longer