Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bread Making with the Boy: Teddy Bear Bread

I remember on cold mornings, when I was younger, my mother would put my clothes in the dryer to warm them up so I would be willing to climb out of my warm bed for school. I also remember those kind of cold mornings she would get up extra early to make homemade blueberry muffins. During the fall and winter weekends, she would make homemade bread so our house would be filled with the delicious aroma and warmth that only baked bread could create.

Now, I am the one who wakes up earlier, as the mornings have gotten colder, to warm my son's clothes up. So we can get our run/walk in earlier. So I can make him a nice hearty, hot breakfast. Living so close to the ocean, we live only a 5 minute drive to the beach or the harbor, the fog is starting to come in earlier and the nights are beginning to get cooler. It is definitely beginning to feel like Fall around here. With the season evidently changing and with renewed memories of my mother's homemade bread; I decided that today I would make bread with my son.

Every Thursday my son has a half day at school and today happens to be a Thursday. I found the cooler weather, his half day, and my nostalgia as signs that today was a perfect day to make bread. Not just any bread though, no, today we made Teddy Bear Bread. I made the sweet dough while he was in school so it would be proofed and ready to go when he got home. It was great being able to show him how to knead and roll the dough into shapes. Seeing his pride when the bread came out was so fulfilling. I cannot wait to make something else with him.
Making Teddy Bear Bread with my son

(Makes enough dough for: 4 mini teddy bear heads and 1 large teddy bear loaf)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp of rapid rise yeast (about two packets)
  • 1/2 cup instant non-fat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 to 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Mix all of these ingredients in a small bowl. Put aside to brush on until the bread is almost done baking.
  1. In large bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, place the water, yeast, powdered milk, and sugar; mix well until yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add 2 cups flour and beat well until smooth.
  3. Mix in the oil and eggs, beat until smooth, then add the salt.
  4. At this point it the dough will be getting a bit more stiff and stick so change to the dough hook attachment. Then add enough more flour to make a very soft dough.
  5. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl.
  7. Cover loosely with a damp towel, or a sheet of plastic wrap (which I often do) and let rise until doubled.
  8. Punch the dough down, transfer to a floured surface and shape.
  9. Bake at 350F degrees until golden brown. The time will vary depending on how big your bread is, but for smaller rolls, about 20-25 minutes; and for larger loaves, about 40-45 minutes.
  10. If you are using the sweet glaze for your loaves/rolls, about 5 minutes before they are done (when they are beginning to turn golden), take them out of the oven and brush on glaze. Return to the oven for the duration of cooking time.
He was so proud of his Teddy Bear Bread that he is taking one of the mini bear rolls to his teacher tomorrow. The big all his.
The finished Teddy Bear Bread

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