Just loafing around


There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread. That warm, toasty yeasty aroma that makes you instantly hungry. I used to work in a bakery and yet I still love it every time. So, The Bean and I decided we would try out the bread dough recipe from You Can Cook by Annabel Karmel. ‘Making bread – that’s pretty ambitious!’ I hear you say. Well yes, there are a lot of steps, but the beauty of it is that because it takes a while to make you can leave it to do other important things like building a train track, changing nappies or having morning tea. It doesn’t require many ingredients, in fact I always have these ingredients on hand anyway. And there are so many things your little one can get involved with – adding the yeast,  stirring the flour and butter, pushing the dough, brushing it with egg and sprinkling on seeds or cheese. The Bean was fascinated by the magic of the yeast frothing up and also the proving process.We made a loaf one day and bread rolls the next and both were a huge success. We used the bread rolls to make hamburgers for dinner, and The Bean was very proud of his contribution. So here is the recipe!

You need:

  • 1 sachet of yeast (7g)
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 450g plain flour (white or wholemeal)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds, grated cheese or pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • extra flour, for dusting

Equipment:

  • 3 small bowls
  • 1 large glass or ceramic mixing bowl
  • a wooden spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup
  • a large chopping board
  • a small loaf tin (if you are making a loaf)
  • 2 baking trays (if you are making rolls)
  • olive  oil spray
  • baking paper
  • pastry brush
  • cling wrap
  • cooling rack

To make a loaf:

  1. Place the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and stir. Leave it for 10 minutes. It should look frothy with bubbles.
  2. Next, melt the butter.Place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the melted butter and the frothy yeast and stir to combine. When it just starts to come together, stop stiring.
  3. Dust the chopping board and your hands with flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on the chopping board and knead (pushing and pulling) the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. To test if it is ready, push your finger in up to your knuckle. The dough should spring back into place.
  4. Clean the mixing bowl and lightly spray with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with cling wrap for 1 hour to prove.
  5. Take the cling wrap off and punch the dough. Take it out of the bowl and knead it for 2 minutes.
  6. Grease your loaf tin with olive oil and then place the dough into it. spray some oil on the cling wrap and then place it over the loaf tin and leave for 1/2 hour for it to prove again. Now is also a good time to turn your oven on to 200c.
  7. Remove the cling wrap and brush the loaf with the egg. sprinkle on the seeds or cheese if you wish to use them.
  8. Place the loaf tin into the oven and bake for 25- 30 minutes. It should be golden brown on top and make a hollow sound when you tap it. Turn it out on to the cooling rack.

To make rolls, follow-up to step 5. Then divide the dough in half and then in half again until you have 8 large portions (regular rolls) or 16 small ones(dinner rolls). Place baking paper onto the baking trays and then place the rolls on, ensuring there is enough space between them. brush with egg and seeds and bake for 20 minutes.

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