Cooking with Kids

A Quick Preschooler Bread Recipe

Tuesday July 26, 2016

Over breakfast this morning, Bean told me she wanted to have a quiet day. She hadn’t slept well the day before, so not surprising.

A good morning to make some bread.

The usual trouble with baking bread with little kids is that it takes so long. They’ve completely forgotten about it after the first rise (“OOOH, let’s go punch down the dough! The dough we made an hour ago? For the bread we’re making? Do you remember any of this?”). By the second rise, their appetite and attention is completely shot. By the time the bread is finished baking, they’re surprised to learn that you just made them fresh bread. Thanks, Mom!

So, it’s helpful to have a child-specific bread recipe. This one only requires 20 minutes TOTAL of rise time, so your kid can see it through from start to finish. This recipe is also fool-proof, so a great first recipe to follow along with really little kids (16 or 18 months).








When we first started making this recipe, I’d pre-measure all the ingredients into bowls for toddler Bean. Nowadays, she insists on measuring and dumping everything herself. Today, I decided to write out the recipe on a card for her to follow along with me.

The recipe card was a big hit.








Baking is so much fun for a 3 year old. But, it also really pushes her limits. Pouring water from a pitcher to a measuring cup takes a lot of precision. Measuring out ingredients and leveling them off requires a lot of hand dexterity. I loved her concentration using a spatula to coax honey out of the measuring cup too.








Of course, she’s also learning basic math — counting out cups of flour, seeing what a half of a cup looks like. Baking is an activity that incorporates nearly every preschooler subject.

Mixing is messy gooey fun, and kneading is a full body exercise.








I split the dough into two parts, so I can demonstrate how to knead one half while she kneads the other. Of course, she treats it like playdough at first, but I can see her glancing over and trying to mimic the fold stretch fold stretch pattern.








Rise time is nothing at all, just 20 minutes. She pet the bread after it was finished rising, talking about how “soft” it felt now.








By the time the loaves came out, they were beautifully golden and crusty. Now, just as when she was little, she is so proud of her accomplishment. It helps that they’re also delicious so all of us dig in (and then Dave and I load them up with butter and honey after she’s in bed).







Quick Preschooler Bread Recipe


1 1/2 cups warm water

1 ½ tablespoons yeast

¼ cup honey

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons salt

4 cups flour (maybe more for kneading)

Stir the water, yeast, and honey together in a medium-sized bowl. Then, add honey, olive oil, and salt and stir again. Then add flour.

Dump all of this out onto a floured countertop and start kneading. I split the dough into two sections so that I can demonstrate with one while Bean works with the other. Knead for at least 5 minutes.

You can either round each dough ball up into a small loaf on a pan or further divide them into dinner-sized rolls.

Let them rise for 20 minutes.

Then, bake for 30 minutes at 350.




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