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Tweaking a quick yeasted bread (kids' project)


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Thanks for reporting back...but what!...no pictures of the octupuss in the blanket?  :huh:

Alas, no pictures of the octopuses in blankets. Ever had a room full of hungry 6-year olds nipping at your heels? :wink:

Actually, now that I think about it, there weren't any octopi in the baggies that went home, so I think the kids devoured them first. :smile:

The kids also did us a favor. There was enough dough left over the next day to make a large roll bread filled with cheese/herbs/eggs/capers/dried tomatoes, and a dessert roll bread filled with nutella/walnuts/candied orange peel. The latter was particularly tasty.:wub:

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Wonderful! Do you think the children will start to pester their parents to make bread now, too?

We had a blast and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. My only regret is that I didn’t have time to prepare and print out a “certificate of achievement” to hand to each child, containing the recipe and instructions.

If you have pictures you need to distribute to the children, just add the certificate along with those! I think it would be great (though a little more expensive) if you put the picture/certificate in cardboard double picture frames. I'm sure they'd get a big kick out of getting something so official looking!

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Wonderful!  Do you think the children will start to pester their parents to make bread now, too?

I can only hope...if it has any impact at all, it will probably make more of an impression with the kids themselves rather than the habits of their parents. For instance, I now wouldn't hesitate to have some kids over to make bread as part of a "rainy day," play date activity. And prep time would be close to zero.

I did have one parent (close neighbor) ask me later if it was hard to make the bread, so I'll be giving her the recipe. Maybe there is hope after all...

Great idea on the picture frames/certificates!

I should also note that the above recipe makes about 12-16 pigs in blankets (using regular wieners cut in thirds) and can be doubled/tripled as necessary.

Daughter #1 will be having her ninth birthday party in September, so I'm already turning over ideas in my head. I'm considering a pasta-making party using our hand-cranked machine, with a side detour into making a simple vinaigrette for a tossed salad. I want to stay on the theme of "stuff that we are better off making rather than buying."

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 3 months later...
BTW, if you do decide on pizza sometime, Rebecca263 put a fast pizza dough recipe on recipegullet. It is fast indeed. And it likes aggressive handling.

I wanted to thank Kouign Aman, and of course Rebecca263, for pointing me in the direction of the easy pizza recipe on Recipegullet. The recipe is indeed very forgiving and easy to whip up.

For my older daughter's birthday party last week (turning nine), we ended up doing a pizza-making session from scratch. I had to nix the idea of making pasta due to logistical reasons.

The kids had a blast, and ended up making and eating way more pizzas than I expected. This resulted in a mad rush to prep more toppings while constantly rotating four or more pizzas in and out of the oven. I need to be more prepared this time, but everybody had a ton of fun and hopefully learned a little bit about making dough. We spent a good hour making the pizzas and noshing away at our creations, and could have gone longer if we had also done calzones.

The kids also took the recipe home with them, so hopefully they'll carry on the tradition at home. Next year, I'd like to challenge the 10-year olds with something more ambitious, that similarly doesn't involve knives. :shock:

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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sounds like the kids had fun. has to be better than "chuck e. cheese's", right?

and a suggestion for next year...that doesn't involve knives:

make pate a choux, pastry cream and a simple ganache...then have them make and fill cream puffs and eclairs. easy, fun and very satisfying as you watch them expand in the oven.

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sounds like the kids had fun.  has to be better than "chuck e. cheese's", right?

and a suggestion for next year...that doesn't involve knives:

make pate a choux, pastry cream and a simple ganache...then have them make and fill cream puffs and eclairs.  easy, fun and very satisfying as you watch them expand in the oven.

That's a great suggestion. I could see sending the girls home with little Chinese take-out boxes of homemade cream puffs. But they'll probably eat them all first.:biggrin: By coincidence, I was considering a last minute switch to croquembouche for the older daughter's birthday cake, although I ended up making a zuccotto as originally planned.

With the pate a choux, I would be worried about getting the dough to rise. I've never had a problem with it myself, but you never know with a bunch of ham-fisted kids... Do you happen to know of a "foolproof" (easy) choux recipe? I would need a recipe that the kids could whip up from scratch.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Cant help with the choux paste, but could you pretty please put your pigs in blanket recipe in RecipeGullet? The shorter days fast approach and I'll be frantically seeking child-friendly recipes. (I love hotdogctopi. I used to make them for my little sister when my folks were working late. One slit makes a nice 'sea monster' mouth.)

Also, how did you make the fancier loaves the next day? It would be wonderful if you could comment on that in the recipe also. I'd love to work with my small one to bake an egg in bread. It would be hugely amusing to the small person, as well as mystifying.

I'm glad the pizza dough worked out for you. I bless Rebecca everytime I use it because I am not organized enough to make dough a day ahead. And I here-by give you official notice that I will throw a copycat party one of these days. Perhaps I shall put 'courtesy of sanrensho' on the corner of each certificate. (Um yeah, right. Like I'm gonna get 'round to printing up certificates.....)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Cant help with the choux paste, but could you pretty please put your pigs in blanket recipe in RecipeGullet?

Sure, I'll try to get to it this weekend.

Also, how did you make the fancier loaves the next day? It would be wonderful if you could comment on that in the recipe also. I'd love to work with my small one to bake an egg in bread. It would be hugely amusing to the small person, as well as mystifying.

The basic instructions for the roll bread are in the original recipe from James Oliver. He originally covered it in one of his episodes for the Naked Chef ("At the Beach"), if you can track it down. But it's really simple.


And I here-by give you official notice that I will throw a copycat party one of these days.

Heck, nothing would please me more than to hear that others are doing the same thing. I can't emphasize enough how doable this is for a bunch of small kids. I do have some logistical tips if anyone is interested, such as cutting parchment squares labeled with each kid's name (too bad I didn't follow my own advice for the older daughter's birthday). I also tried to explain about the role of each ingredient as we measured them out.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking that another possible party theme will be to make soft pretzels. :wub: Lots of possibilities for making fun shapes there!


Edited by sanrensho (log)
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  • 10 months later...

I just wanted to post a belated update on the idea of doing a pasta-making party for kids. (Increasingly veering off the topic of the thread title, I know.)

We ended up doing this for my 7-year old's birthday party last June. I simplified the actual pasta-making by making a couple of batches of pasta dough the night before. During the party, we had the kids take turns rolling out sheets on a hand machine and cutting them into tagliatelle. One kid alternately holding the pasta and the other cranking.

We had a pot of boiling salted water ready on a stovetop propane burner (cassette type). When each pair of kids was finished making their pasta, they brought it over to the table to cook their pasta.

The kids were literally fighting to get their turns at the pasta rolling machine. And most of the kids loved the noodles. Although we had made a marinara sauce, most asked for their noodles plain, which was a big surprise for me. (I thought it was weird, actually.) Many came back for seconds and even thirds, sauce or no.

One girl made a point of telling me they were "the best noodles ever," which was gratifying to hear. As far as I know, only one out of 10+ kids had ever made (rolled) fresh pasta before.

Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to do this again as an activity for a kids party. It was a lot of fun, and much less work than the bread and pizza-making.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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