Part of our weekly rhythm revolves around making bread each week.
On Tuesdays, the children are invited to grind the wheat and the flax seed. On Wednesday, we bake the bread, and on Thursday, we eat our creation slathered with peanut butter and honey.
Last Wednesday, I worked in the classroom, and I had the opportunity to make bread with a couple of eager kiddos. I wasn’t nearly as good at it as Ms. Katy, but I gave it my best shot. The kids were quick to point out my (many) errors, which led us to a great discussion about mistakes…everybody makes them! We talked about celebrating mistakes as a way to learn…and in the end, the bread still managed to turn out quite tastily.
Here’s our easy (and very forgiving) bread recipe…so it’s great to do with kids, or, in my case, well-intentioned, but mistake prone adults:
1 1/2 c. Warm water
3 tbsp. Oil
1/4 c. Honey
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or one packet)
2 2/3 c. Unbleached bread flour
1 1/3 c. Whole wheat flour
1/3 c. Milled flax seeds
2 1/2 tbsp. Flax seed (or however many the kids throw in)
1 1/3 tsp salt
Mix water, oil, honey and yeast in bowl and set aside. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet mixture into the well. Slowly mix until combined.
Kneed the dough in the bowl until it comes together. It’s still a little sticky, but throw out a generous amount of flour on your kneeling surface, and it will be fine. Divide it for the kids to kneed/play with/use it to make mountains and cars and sheep and pizzas until they’re bored. Discourage them from making shoes or hats…it’s hard to resist trying them on. Reform it into a ball.
Let it rise for 1 hour. Flatten it into a rectagale-ish shape. Fold it in thirds and place it into a loaf pan. Let it rise again for 1 more hour. Bake it at 325 for 50-60 minutes. It may look done before it is done. It’s best if you stick an internal thermometer in it. It should be between 190-200 degrees. By the way, we’ve WAY over baked it before and it was still okay.