Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kids in the Kitchen

My kids love to be with me in the kitchen. They're usually just in the way, but I try to let them help as often as I have patience. Hopefully as they get older, it can turn into a regular gig.

My oldest is in preschool this year, so we have one more year until the start of making school lunches. But we're big fans of the sandwich around here, affectionately called: a samich! Turkey, peanut butter, or more creative - they all taste best on homemade bread.

I have lots of bread recipes that I use for different things: knot rolls, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, loaf bread. But last fall I attended an excellent women's conference at my church and they had a professional chef speak about making time with your children, especially in the kitchen. Chef Brad (who is a legend here in Mesa, AZ) gave us a fabulous, EASY white bread recipe that can be made into lots of things. While he spoke, we women actually made bread. They had stations set up for about 300 women, with bowls, ingredients and all! This talk and session was in the middle of the conference and after everything was over they served a fabulous lunch of Navajo tacos - made from the dough we mixed up there, cooked as fry bread. I am reproducing the recipe exactly as I received it. Even if you have never made bread, this would be a good recipe to try.

Basic White Bread
Bread is the staple of life. It can be nourishing and it is a wonderful comfort food. Fresh baked bread from the oven can bring a family together and create fond food memories that can last forever.

2 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, oil, lard, or Crisco
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoon yeast, Saf instant
5 + cups of flour

In a bowl add water, sugar, oil, salt, 2 cups flour. Mix well with a spoon and add yeast and 3 cups of flour. Mix well and then dump out on a floured surface. Start kneading by folding the closest edge to you away from you towards the furthest edge. With the ball of the hand, press the folded edge into the dough turning the dough around as you complete the fold. Keep repeating the process, adding flour as needed, being careful not to add too much flour. After the dough is well kneaded, about 6 to 8 minutes, place in oiled bowl and cover and let rise to double. Punch down and form into loafs, 2, and let rise again until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven until done, about 30 minutes.

For Whole Grain Bread, substitute 3 cups of white flour with fresh ground whole wheat flour and let rise until double, twice, before forming into loafs.

For Cinnamon Bread, before placing in bread pan to bake, roll out each loaf and spread with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up into a loaf and place in oiled pan and let rise until double.

For Cinnamon Rolls, Roll out entire dough after first rising, spread with butter and then with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Sprinkle lightly with water and then roll up tight and cut into rolls. Place in sprayed baking pan and let rise to double. Bake for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven and then drop the temp to 325 degrees and bake for 12 more minutes. top with a sugar glaze and enjoy.

For Fry Bread, divide the dough into small golf ball pieces and roll out on an oiled surface and fry in hot oil, flipping over and cooking both sides. Top with honey or use for Navajo tacos.

Copyright 2004 by Chef Brad Events, Those Wonderful Grains
All rights reserved

I've made this recipe with the boys help several times since then with great success. And then this week we made Pigs in a Blanket, recipe via my friend Jane at What About Mom. The bread dough recipe there was equally easy, delicious, and appropriate for kids to help with.

This recipe is part of October's Recipe Box Swap at i have to say.


Stephanie said...

I made homemade bread as a kid with my mom, but I haven't done it since. I need to give this a try! Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Thanks for the recipe. I've been to one of Chef Brad's classes and it was excellent. I think you've inspired me to actually try making bread - we'll see how it goes :)

randi said...

I think I am going to try the fry bread. I have never had it, but have always wanted to try!

Thanks for posting!

Heather said...

I love making homemade bread. I'll have to give this recipe and variations a try.

I love it that you bake with your kids! You are giving your children sweet memories as well as yummy food!

Susan said...

Okay, I'm an idiot, Tara - what is Saf instant yeast? Is it the same as Rapid Rise? Navajo tacos are sounding sooo good right now!

Candice said...

Call me the next time you are going to make bread! I'm embarrassed (sp?) to say that i've never made bread before. Am I allowed to blame that on my mom? So I want to come over and learn from the master!

Many times when Alden is at my house and declares that he is hungry I ask him what me wants to eat and he tells me "maybe a turkey samwich".

Jennie said...

This recipe looks great! I would love to try it too. Where do you get the Saf instant yeast- I know it's not the same as the active dry yeast I have... Thanks so much for sharing.

Aaron said...

It's great that you include our boys with cooking. I wish I had spent more time and effort in the kitchen growing up because I have a true affinity to the culinary world and it makes me glad to know you are exposing our sons to it from the beginning.

Rasmussen Family said...

Your cupcakes were delicious too.
Thanks for the fall/Halloween treat.