The Kids Cook Monday – February 21, 2011 “The Baker”

This weekend we had a great time in the kitchen. I have been wanting to cook fresh brioche bread for some time and we finally got around to doing it. Brioche bread doesn’t take long to make, but it does need plenty of time for the dough to rest and rise before baking. Due to a “dad” mistake, I got a little too excited about baking the bread that I failed to let it rise for an additional 8 hours. Alessandra did awesome.

The way that we cook together is that Alessandra is 100% involved with every step. Our recipe came from Ideas In Food and it’s fairly simple. First step was measuring 6 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 1/2 teaspoons of fine sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast into a very large bowl. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Alessandra scooped every cup of flour and sugar, and every teaspoon of salt and yeast. We use a scale and the recipe from the book has gram equivalents. For a child, it’s easier to obtain 975 grams than 6 1/2 cups of flour and it’s great for number recognition. She’s not 4-years-old yet, so it’s a good way to indirectly teach numbers.

Then we mixed in the wet ingredients, 8 large eggs, 1 cup of room-temperature water, 1/2 of whole milk, and 1 pound of unsalted butter. For the first time I had Alessandra crack eggs into a bowl, and she would have made a French chef happy. One handed and ‘POW’, cracked the egg on the bowl without one piece of shell getting into the eggs.

Honestly, she did a better job than I did. The cutest part was when she promptly said that “she needed to wash her hands so she wouldn’t get ‘nella.”  I was a happy dad, for the cleanliness, but also impressed that she knew the word salmonella. Once she came back to the kitchen we mixed the rest of the wet ingredients together. Alessandra made sure to stir all of the eggs together to make sure they were properly blended together. When she finished, we mixed in the melted butter and stirred again. We then poured the wet ingredients into the dry and started to mix. This is where I had to help since it’s hard work to stir dough.

In the end we had enough dough to make two 5″x9″ loafs after the rising period. The first period is after 3 hours you will want to fold the dough into itself, turn it over, and let it rest for an additional 8 hours at room temperature. This was the step that I missed so the bread was a little dense, but very flavorful. Below you can see the finished product where Alessandra had little, but was happy to share with mom and dad.

The source of the recipe is an affordable and approachable book. I bought a hard cover and electronic version of this book because I use it all of the time. I highly recommend Ideas In Food.

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