The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


KathySager's picture

Suzie's Sourdough Circus

October 2, 2012 - 2:56pm -- KathySager

Wonderful sourdough story for children, with great recipes!!

check it out:

In rhyming prose, sure to appeal to both children and their grown-up sous-chefs, this story is both informative and fun. Young readers spend a snowy northern afternoon in the warm kitchen with little Suzie, her dad and their zany sourdough circus, learning a simple method to bake wholesome and tangy sourdough bread.

Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

After forty plus years of baking breads I decided to create "fun buns" for my grandchildren.  Each weekend I would make a batch of buns.  I kept notes about what worked and what didn't.  Since I wanted the option of using the buns for sandwiches I started with ones that were basically round in shape.

My first attempt was four turtles.

I then wanted a pig.  I thought it would be cute to serve pulled pork on a piggy bun.  Ironically, the pig proved to be the most difficult for me.  Even now I'm not confident the ears and nose will stay in place.  I tried to cut the ears in but couldn't secure the tips.  And then the nose . . . but for now I'll post pictures and talk how to's in a later post.  I did finally find a design I liked . . . but it's a rather difficult one.

At one point I got so frustrated with trying to make the quantity of buns I needed to feed a group that I even considered making heads and tails . . .

Since dough is a living organismI decided I needed some easy designs so I could make some difficult and some easy in the time frame I had to work in.  I created a chick and hedgehog that are relatively easy.

At this point I was using whole wheat dough.  I decided to try sweet roll dough for Easter bunny and chicks.  The dough raised so much after shaping that the designs were distorted.

Snails worked okay, the center raising up was actually desirable.

I continued on with the bunny and came up with options.  One has cut in ears and the other is basically two pieces, body and head with the ears cut with scissors.

Then came the fish.  Since my sons had aquariums I decided to start with tropical fish.  I wanted texture and tried grated cheese on top . . . but, I got "ick" . . . for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a fungus.

Being a Minnesotan, I needed more fish, lots of fish.

Then it was football for the guys.

I love frogs . . . one easy, one difficult.

Want to ruin my day?  Ask me how to keep ears on the mouse.  I sure don't know how . . .

Ahhhh, bears!  Who doesn't love bears!

How about a family of bears?

At this point I started looking on the internet for ideas.  I found the book Kids' Ideas with frozen dough by Rhodes.  I made several of their designs and learned some new techniques.

I especially liked the cat for Halloween.

And now the reason I bake.  My grandson's first batch of "fun buns".  HE LIKES THEM!




Rosalie's picture

Whole-Grain Bread for Children for Thanksgiving?

November 19, 2008 - 4:20pm -- Rosalie

I've been invited to my niece's for Thanksgiving. I'll be travelling next Tuesday by Amtrak bus/train, 200 miles. I reminded her that I love to bake and what can I bring, and she cavalierly said nothing, we'd bake what we needed on Wednesday.


So I decided not to bother with pies (which I have never made anyway) or cookies, but to stick with bread. Trouble is that I like 100% whole grain (fresh-ground), and she has two boys (about six and seven, I think) and a white-bread husband. So I'm looking for compromises.

cougarrakira's picture

Attempt one: Baking with children/Toaster oven

October 13, 2008 - 8:29pm -- cougarrakira

Ok... we tried our first yeast bread today.  I approximately halved the basic white bread recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook to make a single loaf instead of two, but used double the yeast, since what I had available had been sitting in the closet for at least a year, and probably longer.  We just dumped the yeast into the flour, and used room temp.

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