The boys and I found a video of a woman braiding Challah bread. It’s twelve minutes long, but we watched it all the way through together. We were all fascinated. Completely engrossed. She demonstrates at least ten types of bread decoration styles.
The last thing she makes (at the 10:30 mark) is a little bread baby. We all went "AWE!" together as she made the little bonnet.
We all looked at each other and made the group decision to make our own bread babies just like hers.
We were in a bit of a rush that day, so we picked up some pre-made dough at the grocery store. We weren't quite sure what kind would work best, so we bought crescent dough and biscuit dough.
I worked with Owen first, and we made a baby together with biscuit dough.
Then he made his own independently.
Then Owen finished his baby and it was Silas' turn. Silas really wanted to play with all the extra pieces and "smoosh the dough" around in his fingers. He was really uncomfortable with putting oil on his hands first, so you can see that the dough stuck to his hands.
We all really enjoyed working with the dough, rolling it, making it into shapes.
While he worked, I made braids and “anemones” from the crescent dough. I didn't grab a picture, because my fingers were covered with slippery oil.
We popped them in the oven and followed the baking times marked on the tubes.
But when the boys’ babies came out they were puffed and bloated! The boys laughed so hard! "Our babies are so chubby! Look at those lovely fat babies!" they shouted as they jumped and danced around the kitchen with their little aprons on.
I used the crescent dough and when mine came out, they were lovely and golden. You can laugh at the state of my baking sheet. It's comical. But look how delicious the braids look!
Next time, we'll just use crescent dough, the biscuit dough puffed up too much for our liking. But we were still really pleased to have them for dinner.
I was relieved that the boys were comfortable eating them because many times they form emotional attachments to cute foods. Like those amazing and adorable bento boxes people post pictures of on Pinterest. The boys would both refuse to eat them because they were just too adorable.
Since we enjoyed making these babies so much, I intend on making them again with the boys.
• If you’re buying pre-made dough, use crescent dough. I recommend Immaculate Baking’s Crescent dough. But Pillsbury would do fine as well.
• Use baking parchment paper on your trays.
• Have a small bowl of vegetable oil for your hands, it ensures the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Rub it on your hands before you get into the dough.
Have fun experimenting. While our bread babies didn’t come out like we thought they might, we still greatly enjoyed the process. We all felt proud of our work.
For more on cooking or baking with your children:
A great book for Preschoolers, Pretend Soup
A great blog with photos, Cooking with My Kid