I love children and I love baking bread
These two things have always been connected to me.
In my kindergarten we are baking bread with the kids every week. We eat it later at our breakfasts.
I once tried to bake enough so that we would not have to buy bread at all, but the little people don’t stop eating, and we had to open a proper baking factory, so I gave up.
On Friday, we make bread called ‘Challa’, in honor of Shabbat.
We’re not Religious but we take the best parts of all religions. It’s our little help to bringing peace to the world.
Challa for Saturday is a kind of treat so we make it from white flour, and with a little sugar so that it comes out sweet.
The midweek bread is healthy bread and we make it with whole rye flour.
This is how we take care of both the stomach and the mind.
Balance is the secret of life, right?
Baking bread with kids is a great activity. It’s fun and bonding. It provides something to eat too.
I will tell you how we do it and at the end I will attach the recipe. So if you’re looking for a recipe only – just scroll down.
Be prepared for a mess
The first thing you must do is completely let go of the hope that the kitchen will remain as clean as it would have if you were making the bread yourself.
Not a chance!
These little people have the innocent ability to pour flour, completely by accident, at the exact point where the kitchen work surface meets the drawer (that has obviously been left slightly open) and of course a significant portion will reach the floor.
So keep your drawers shut and give up in advance. Many things will happen here, but clean is not going to be one of them.
By the way I do put, precisely because of that, a limit on oil. They do not touch the oil.
Oh! The terrible things that can happen when a small person is holding a cup of oil in its hands!!
Place the child on a chair, or sit with him at a table. I prefer to work standing up at first because it is difficult to knead while sitting.
In a large bowl put half a kilo of flour. If you want to make your bread with healthy flour, now is the time to add that.
I use whole wheat rye flour in the kindergarten, but it is very heavy, so I mix it with white flour.
Spelled flour, which is the most perfect flour in the world in my eyes, can be used without adding white flour, but it is expensive, so it’s up to you.
If you mix flours, put the wholemeal flour in a bowl (in my case the rye).
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons dry yeast
Half a cup of oil.
Pour lukewarm water over the whole mess until the dough becomes liquidy.
Stir and leave it to rest a little. Say for 10 minutes.
Next start adding gradually the half kilo of white flour.
First mix with a large spoon, then you move on to the best part –
Kneading with your hands.
How does the little person fit in?
I let them put the ingredients out of a cup into the big bowl (except for the oil! Don’t say I didn’t not warn you). You can give them a small portion each time and make the fun last longer.
When you start kneading, at first, when everything is still very sticky, you do it yourself. After the dough forms, the little person goes into action.
Do not forget to wash their hands before (terrible things make their way to their hands), and also – wipe the hands dry after.
The dough sticks terribly to wet hands.
Knead and knead and knead and knead.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to release anger and frustration while you’re at it.
Once everything is well mixed leave it to rise. For how long? It is not an exact science and depends very much on the weather and how much yeast you put in it. This should roughly double its original size. Again – not an exact science.
Then sit down, sprinkle some flour and let the little person play with it . You can give him a rolling pin for extra fun. While the child is busy, make whatever shape of bread you want with the rest of the dough.
Place on baking paper, on a baking tray. You can spread over egg and top with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake on high heat (preheat oven. Bread needs a hot oven!)
And take out when looking lovely.
Of course the little person gets to taste first!
It’s a truly great activity. You will feel like a really good parent after such a session, and there is also bread for a day or two at home now.
The recipe in short:
1 kg of flour
Tablespoon and a half of yeast
Teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons sugar
Half a cup of oil
Mix with lukewarm water.
Leave until doubles in size.
Brush egg + sesame seeds.
If you have attempted baking the bread and enjoyed yourself, or if you’re planning on baking with your child soon, you might want to consider getting these.
If you have any questions or insights please feel free to leave me a few words down below, in the comment section.
All the best,