Baking Bread together (with your toddler)

 
 

Cooking and baking with an 18 months old is probably one of the most stressful situations for a "neat freak" mom (like me! :). AND at the same time it is a wonderful way...

  1. for me to get out of my comfort zone and therefore learn a lot
  2. for my daughter, to feel confident and capable by doing something important for the family

Once I put all my expectations sideways and accepted that yes it will be some preparation time at the beginning and a lot of cleaning time at the end, it was actually a lot of fun. 

Today I would like to share with you this recipe that we all enjoyed so much (I have found it on a French website and changed it a bit)

 

SPELT AND OLIVE OIL BREAD

  • 250 g of spelt flour
  • 1 small packet of baking powder
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 40 ml of olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • you can add sesame or other seeds

ou can find the original recipe here

 

I don't expect her to do much while cooking. She has not the patience to participate to the whole process and do all the steps. The times of focus are quite short. So I ask her if she wants to participate at the beginning of each step. Sometimes she is happy to help, sometimes she prefers just to watch and sometimes she shows no interest and prefers to go outside and play. Whatever she choses it's fine.

When I try a recipe with my daughter, I prepare everything before (like in the picture here above) and break the process into very little steps:

1. Mix the baking powder with the warm water. Then add and mix the olive oil

 

2. Leave it stand for 10 minutes (at least)

3. Whisk the egg and add the salt

 

4. Add the whisked egg to the mixture of water, baking powder and olive oil. Add the flour little by little

 

5. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes and form a ball with the dough

 
 

6. Spread it out on a pie plate and let it rise for at least one hour, one hour and half (into the lukewarm  oven)

7. Bake it for 20 minutes at 180°C (it depends on your oven, I used only 160°C with mine)

 
 

What she enjoyed mostly:

  • whisking the egg
  • adding the flour with a wooden spoon
  • pouring the ingredients
  • mixing them up
  • feeling the dough while it was still liquid

What she didn't wanted to do:

  • Kneading the dough.

I have noticed that she is not really interested in playing with dough either. Let's see if she enjoys it next time we bake bread.

In Montessori pedagogy, this activity is an opportunity for a child to develop the fine motor skills. It is a sensory experience as well. Read more about the importance of cooking with a little one.