Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homemade Bread - so my kids will know that bread doesn't grow on trees in brightly colored plastic bags

Here's a recent conversation I had with my five year old daughter, Gwenny:

G: ewww! They eat plants?!? (referring to animals in some kids' show that was on)
Me: Yes Gwenny, and so do we.
G: What?!?
Me: Gwenny, the carrots, leaves, all the fruits and vegetables we eat are plants. They grow on trees or in the dirt. Then we clean them and eat them.
G: We do?!?
Me: Yes Gwenny, just like the animals.
G: Oh, I didn't know that!

From there I decided I should stop assuming my kids understand how things come to be as they are, and make more of an effort to show them where things come from and how they are made. Thus I declared we would make bread from scratch.

I decided on French bread and there was a recipe for baguettes in my Fanny Farmer cookbook.

Mini-me - she loves making things! She even learned how to knead the bread with the heel of her hand by the end of the process.

Mitchell had to wind up before each kneading by lifting his hands high in the air above his head. He thought himself very cute and clever. (I thought so too.)

The dough has risen! Four loaves formed, laid on a bed of cornmeal, brushed with egg white mixture, and cut with diagonal slits.

 Girls' Night Out was fast approaching and I was running out of time! I had to leave Richard in charge of the final leg of the bread baking. Here he is spraying the bread with water (this had to be done four times during the baking process) before the final 10 minutes of baking. He said it turned out very well - I'll have my chance to try it at lunch. What a good husband - he finished baking the bread, remembered to take pictures, and even remembered to wrap up the other three loaves and freeze them. Thanks honey!

Note to self: don't forget the cardinal rule of doing things with children! Each child adds 15 minutes to whatever it is you are trying to get done.

Tomorrow ... homemade doughnuts!