“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” Guy Fieri
Making bread at home seems far away from being child’s play, however, children love creating the simplest, tastiest version of bread, dough balls. Mixing, measuring, shaping these little knobs of delight are really easy processes, perfect for a party or a fun dinner. Filling them takes the simple dough ball to the next level, and the options for stuffing the balls with are endless! Great for a starter, dipped into soup, accompany a stew or as a simple canapé, one could find a new use for these every day of the week.
The idea is to take a small piece of dough from the main ball, spoon filling of choice directly into the middle, and then pull the edges up to a point in the centre, so it resembles a small ball. Pinching really hard when all the edges have come together, creating a seal, prevents the lovely filling from bubbling out in the heat of the oven, so it will suit all kitchen explorers. Some of the tried and tested favourites include garlic butter, pesto, tapenade and cheese, but one can try several combinations all at once to find a favourite.
“Never eat more than you can lift.” Miss Piggy
210 g plain flour
10 g fresh yeast
4 g salt
130 g hand-hot water
Zest of one lemon
A handful of mint, finely chopped
Combine the ingredients in a bowl to create a sticky dough. Gently form a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover it with cling film and leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. Knead the dough on a floured surface then use a sharp, un-serrated knife to chop the dough into about 20 pieces (if desiring a uniform shape, measure 20 g pieces). Shape each piece separately by kneading it lightly then tucking the ‘corners’ into the middle, forming a round ball shape. The ‘tucked in’ part of the dough will be at the bottom of the ball, providing a nice smooth shape on top. Place the dough balls onto a lined baking tray and leave them to rest for 20-30 minutes before baking. Dough balls can also be baked almost immediately. Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes.
Best eaten while warm and soft.
“In the childhood memories of every good cook, there’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.” Barbara Costikyan