Thursday, 19 January 2012

Baking Day

We get two whole days a week where it's just me and Ruby. It's 'our special weekend'.  Just us, nobody else.

Today the weather was miserable, and we'd had a busy day yesterday, so we declared it 'Baking Day'. Hurrah!

Ruby was very keen to make some olive bread.  I have to admit that whilst I do make bread at home, I tend to use the bread maker.  But there's not exactly much toddler participation opportunity in that is there?

So, here's the ingredients:

275g strong white flour
50g wholemeal flour
6g sachet of easy yeast
1/2 tsp salt (I left this out)
210ml lukewarm water
1tbsp olive oil
115g black olives

Weigh out the dry ingredients and add to a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm water and oil.

Next, bring the dough together then turn out onto a floured surface (that's a LIGHTLY floured surface Ruby!).  Knead for about 10 minutes.  This was hard work so we took it in turns, but she did perfect the technique.

Next she oiled the bowl with some olive oil on a piece of kitchen roll, and we popped the dough in to rise. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for an hour to double in size.

Ruby got a bit bored - an hour is ages in Toddler time, so we used the lull to make some blueberry muffins - read on for that.

She was thrilled to see how much the dough had risen and that the yeast had done it's job.

We removed the dough, 'knocked it back' - which to Ruby meant punch it!

Next, to chop the olives.  Because we were using olives from a jar, we strained off first and patted dry with kitchen towel.

For the first time ever, I allowed Ruby to use a sharp knife and do the cutting.  I think my being a bit more chilled out and giving her more responsibility allowed us to have a much better time in the kitchen today.

We flattened out the dough, sprinkled on the chopped olives before rolling it up and kneading to distribute them throughout the bread.

Then, oil a baking sheet, shape the dough into an oval and place it on the tray.  Mark some deep cuts on the top, then cover with cling film and leave again for 30 mins - yawn.

Finally, pop into oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes.

Whilst all that waiting and baking was going on, I knocked up a lasagna and Ruby helped grate (eat) the Parmesan.

So, that's main course taken care of.  Pudding? Oh yes, the mini blueberry muffins.  Here's what you need:

100g blueberries (I used a jar)
50g caster sugar
50g butter
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
75ml milk

We put everything except the blueberries into a bowl and whisked!  Again, the first time I've let her use the electric mixer on her own - without me clinging onto either the bowl or the mixer!  She was fine.

Then we stirred in the blueberries carefully.  Spoon the mixture into mini muffin tins/cases.  Tip: leave one empty so it's easier to get a grip and remove from the oven!

Bake for 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Our final flourish was to use the juice from the jar of blueberries in a cream.

We mixed two large tablespoons of soft cheese with two tablespoons of double cream, the juice and two tablespoons of icing sugar to make purple cream!

That was dinner complete!  I have to say, for once Ruby ate EVERYTHING on her plate AND sat down for the entire meal - a miracle.

Pudding was a triumph too.  Daddy has now declared every Thursday 'Baking Day'!

What have I learnt?  Less stress = more fun.

I'm linking this up with Red Ted Art who are running a kid's cookery contest with Appliances online and this is my entry to Appliances Online Messy Kids Cooking Competition with Baby Budgeting.  Go check them out!


  1. Looks like a successful mission!! And I bet making the bread was *way* more fun than play dough :-)

    1. It really was successful! Great fun and it all tasted great too!

  2. I really loved reading this post. What a lovely time Ruby had and I am sure you did too. The baking looks really successful and scrumptious. Well done, Ruby (and Mum for trusting her!)

  3. Thanks Sheffy. It brought back happy memories. My Nana always baked bread and there used to be bowls of it proving all over her house. She used to joke with me and my brother that it didn't matter if our hands weren't clean - they would be once we'd finished kneading!

    Ruby's nearly 4 and I really must let her try more things. She's capable of pretty much everything in the kitchen, although it will be a while before I let her loose with the oven! x

  4. What a lovely girly day. Adore blueberry muffins, thanks for the recipe!

  5. Thanks Fiona. It was a lovely day! I recommend trying to get hold of blueberries in a jar. I means you can keep them in the cupboard for impromptu baking, plus you get that lovely syrupy juice for the cream! x

  6. This looks like so much fun x

  7. Thanks Susan, it really was! x

  8. Oh I do love a baking day!
    I was going to throw some Brownies together today but perhaps I ought to let my wee man and little lady in about to help again.
    I always mean to add in the recipe but haven't been organised enough.