Here's a favorite activity from my own childhood that now keeps my two little girls occupied for long periods of time. I will simply make a batch of bread dough, and divide it in three - one part makes a loaf for mommy and daddy, and one part for each of the girls to create to their hearts' content. They both get a baking sheet and we have had fish-shaped rolls, snails, lady bugs, and more... decorated with raisins to add the eyes, dots and other accents. The girls always think it is fun to create something, and it is equally fun to help mommy cook, so this is a winner on all fronts! That is, unless the two-year-old decides to eat the dough instead... So this is an activity that is best done supervised. :-P

 

 

Here's my go-to recipe.

 

3 cups warm water
2 Tbs dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar

 

Mix and let sit until it is bubbly.

 

Add:
3 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil

 

Gradually add flour, kneading until you have a dough that is not sticky but still soft. Make a ball, place in oiled bowl and let rise till double. Punch down, shape and let rise again. Bake till golden.

 

I often replace 1/3 of the flour with ground millet, to make a nice whole-wheat type bread. We can't get whole-wheat flour here but using something like millet, oats, cornmeal, etc. gives you a more substantial bread.

 

Stay tuned for an article on baking without an oven - coming up soon!

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