I do love it when the kids get slightly unusual Christmas presents and one of Little Miss C’s uncles really came up trumps this year (not that the other two uncles didn’t, if you’re reading, as the kids love all their presents too thank you!) with a flowerpot bread making kit.
Flowerpot bread you may think – what on earth?
The idea’s quite simple really. You make bread, but rather than put it in a traditional bread tin or on a baking tray in the oven, you instead bake it in terracotta flowerpots. It’s incredibly easy to do and a great activity to do with kids, so here’s my how to guide.
What you need:
- Four small terracotta flowerpots – mine measured 9cm diameter across the top
(obviously the size and number of flowerpots you use determines how much of the ingredients you need)
- One packet of bread mix
- Strong white bread flour
- Dried yeast
- Olive oil
- Olive oil (to season the flowerpots)
- Greaseproof paper / baking parchment
You can obviously alter the bread recipe as you prefer to add herbs, seeds or anything else.
Season your flowerpots
Pre-heat the oven to approx 190 degrees C and whilst it is heating up brush the flower pots (inside and out) with olive oil. I gave LMC a pastry brush to do this with and she thought it was a fun thing to do. Then pop them in the oven for about half an hour. We were then told to wash it with soapy water before using them, but interestingly other recipes tell you just to wipe them clean with a cloth. I don’t think you need to preseason every time you make bread, but to be honest LMC enjoyed doing it so much that I think I’d make it a regular part of the bread making experience.
To start making the bread itself place either your mix packet, or all the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the wet ingredients (for exact quantities take a look at this BBC Good Food recipe) and then mix by hand until all are incorporated.
Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it for about 15 minutes. By the end it should be smooth and springy. It’s highly unlikely that little hands will manage to do this for this long, nor have the strength in their hands to do it properly, but it’s a great way of helping them to develop hand and arm muscles. Be prepared to help them though.
Once your dough is ready split and shape it into four (or more as appropriate) small balls to fit in your flowerpots. Line each flower pot with greaseproof paper. Trim the paper to fit and fold and excess bits over the top edge.
Place a ball of dough in each flowerpot. It should be the right size to sit in the bottom of the flowerpot and not come much higher than the inside of the top band on the pot.
Cover each pot with clingfilm and leave for an hour in a warm place for the dough to rise.
Remove the cling film, place the pots spread out on a baking try and bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen.
Once out of the oven, leave the pots to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning the bread out and eating it.