Bread Baking

While I LIKE cooking and baking and the like, I don’t get to enjoy it as much as I want to.  I cook daily but baking happens much less frequently and when I do bake, I admittedly use a lot of mixes (just for ease and time saving).  There are a few things that I enjoy baking always make from scratch, though, and now that the girls are getting bigger I like to try to get them involved too.

Our two favorite things to make together are (oddly), both breads.  The quicker and easier of the two is Banana Bread.  The recipe I use is one my family has used since I was a child which we found in a Sesame Street Library book and is named “Big Bird’s Banana Bread”.  And while it is super easy to make, it’s also super delicious!

big bird banana

The girls are able to help with pretty much every step from measuring, to pouring, to mixing and putting into the pans.  They also love it because it doesn’t have eggs in it so they can eat the batter before cooking!

SONY DSC

Our second favorite bread to make is Pulla, Finnish Coffee bread.  Hubby was raised on pulla and I started making it at home when we moved into our first place together (10 years ago!)  Unlike the banana bread which is mix and bake, pulla is a rising, shaped bread which is quite an undertaking.  But the girls love watching the bread grow as well as helping me knead and shape the loaves.  I usually give them each a few small pieces and let them form it however they want while I braid the rest of the loaves in the traditional way.

SONY DSCQuick tip for braiding:  I used to make three “snakes” and braid them together.  I learned it was much easier (quicker and prettier, too) to make one fat snake, flatten it out, cut into three pieces with a pizza cutter and then braid.

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