You don’t absolutely need a special skill or tools to shape. That’s the sweet part of having your kids involved. They typically LOVE to get their hands into a new or interesting texture and often don’t mind the mess. I still have to keep myself in check when something gets spilled in the midst of kitchen fixings. But I digress…
Prep a large workstation, including a smaller area for your child as well and put a small bowl of flour nearby. This is for lightly dusting your hands and work area to keep the dough from sticking. If they have small child-sized utensils, bust those puppies out, but it may not keep them from sampling the bread dough. A taste shouldn’t hurt them, a mouthful may upset their stomach. Once your dough is ready to shape, break off a piece about the size of a ping-pong ball for your youngest helpers to experience. For older kids, you are the judge on if they can handle half the recipe. Most bread recipes I share are enough for two 1 pound loaves.
Using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, roll and pat the rested dough into a rectangle shape about half an inch thickness. Then:
- Starting at a shorter side, fold about a third over into the middle of the loaf, then fold the opposite end in, like you’re about to stuff it into an envelope
- Gently pinch and tuck the short sides underneath
- Roll gently a bit more to smooth out any unevenness or seams
Place in your a greased bread pans, cover and let it rest one last time until double in size (see Mom’s tip below).
-Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees about 20-25 minutes (Check at 15 minutes and rotate if needed for a more even browning).
Your loaf is done when the top is evenly browned and it sounds hollow when you tap it. Remove it from the pan and ALLOW IT TO COOL on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting. If you can wait that long. 🙂
Mom’s Tip: One trick I’ve used successfully to help my dough rise faster is to put a very hot (not boiling) bowl of water on the lowest rack position in the oven, then place the resting loaf pan on a rack in the middle. As long as you keep your oven closed, the dough won’t need to be covered and the steam helps to keep it from drying out. The higher temperature accelerates the yeast to do it’s thing even faster. Be sure to remove everything before you preheat the oven or- well…ahem-take my word for it. 😉
If your loaf didn’t turn out how you expected, I’d love to help! Send me an email at email@example.com
Ta ta fer now!