Have y'all ever tried to keep a 4 year old occupied? Oh My Word. Y'all, it can be a daunting task. :-) I have been desperately trying to keep "Angel" busy, so that she does not disturb "Little Mark" while he is doing his school work. (Believe me, "Little Mark" would rather have her 'disturb' him than work.) So, you can see I have my work cut out for me. ;-)
So far this summer we have done a lot of painting and coloring, and baked an obscene amount of cookies and homemade biscuits. The child LOVES to make something if it requires yeast rising. :-)
So, today I pulled out the big guns.And we made this:
Yes, that is bread made in the shape of a teddy bear. These are NOT the ones we made. (We just made one bear, and I found the picture on the internet and cropped it. I hope the person doesn't mind.) Let me tell you, you have not LIVED until you have pulled sticky bread dough from a child's hair, and tried to teach said child to "knead". It was tons of fun. :-)
After we got the bread rising, and we cleaned the kitchen, "Little Mark" joined us in making homemade butter. We placed heavy whipping cream in bowls with just a LITTLE salt. I placed the lids on the bowls and the kids went to town. They shook those bowls, and bodies, all over the house to make butter. :-) It was a good workout for them, and fun for me because it kept them BUSY. :-)
"Little Mark" actually shook his into butter. I was very impressed, and it tasted fantastic. For "Angel", when she finally tired of the "shake fest", we pulled out the old blender and finished it off. In about 2 minutes we had BUTTER. :-)
Homemade butter on fresh homemade yeast bread. That, my friends, is a little piece of heaven on earth. And the fact that the kids made it all by themselves, well... that just made it even better. :-)
So, if you would like a little something to do with your kiddos, try the bear bread. Here is the recipe. :-) Enjoy!! :-)
Teddy Bear Bread
Adapted from "Family Fun Cookbook" (The Walt Disney Co., 1996).
1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 chocolate chips or raisins
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
Wash hands. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together yeast and 1/2 cup of water, and then whisk in sugar. Next, stir in 2 cups of the flour and wait (5-10 minutes) to make sure there are bubbles forming and popping on the surface of the mixture, which means the yeast is working. Then add the salt and all the remaining flour and stir.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter top and knead (folding the bread over on itself and pressing down firmly) for about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and put in a large, clean bowl coated with cooking spray. Spray wax paper with the cooking spray and place it over the ball of dough, or place damp towel across the top of the bowl. Put the bowl of dough on the oven. Let the dough rise 1-2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
When you remove the dough, punch it down, and then split the dough into halves. Use each half to make one teddy bear.
For each bear, mold about a ball. That will be the body. Use a little less than that for the head. Use seven small balls to form the ears, nose, hands and feet. Press chocolate chips or raisins into the face for eyes. Put the shapes on a greased cookie sheet and let rise another 30 minutes. Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash and "paint" this mixture over the dough with a clean paintbrush or pastry brush. Bake the bread for 25 minutes, until it is golden brown. Serve with homemade butter.
Yields 2 loaf-size teddy bears; 8 slices each.
Per serving: 235 calories; 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 27 percent calories from fat); 38 g carbohydrates; 30 mg cholesterol; 140 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.