A cold rainy Sunday was upon us and what were we going to do? All I wanted was to do was go back to bed but that was NOT happening. (darn kids) We needed a project, inspiration, something to keep us from screaming and stealing toys from each other. I wanted to bake, we needed to make bread anyway because all we had left was the dried up remnants from my adventures in bread making last week. Yes bread would do just fine. I wanted the boys involved too.
A little nudge of an idea was all I needed to whip out my Kitchenaid and send the boys off to wash their hands. A soft sweet bread recipe that was new to us sounded perfect as did a family project. And so we embarked on the Dragon Bread project.
Working in teams of two we split the duties of bread making according to who could do what.
Measure sugar, scrape honey our milk and so on. The dragon bread actually killed several birds with one stone:
- it gave us the bread we needed
- we were all involved
- it was a great home school project
- filled the boys with pride
- a fun and creative outlet
- no screeching slapping or toy stealing was allowed-yeah!
- kept us busy, mixing, measuring, pouring, and waiting on and off all day
- smelled damn good
2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 warm water
1 cup milk lukewarm
1/4 melted butter, apple sauce or olive oil
4-4 1/2 cups flour-I used a combo of white, whole wheat and 1 cup vital wheat gluten
nuts, seeds or raisins for dragon parts
begin by dissolving the yeast in the warm water, set aside
measure the honey, sugar, eggs, milk and butter into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer
when the yeast has sat for a least 5 minutes scrape it into the mixing bowl
make sure your bread hook is on and ready to go
run on low to stir for 30 seconds or so
add 2 cups of flour keep stirring on low
when the flour is completely mixed in
slowly add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, if it starts to look too dry stop adding flour!
when it has taken all the flour it will let the machine knead it for at least 5 minutes
pre-haet your oven to warm then turn off
grease a mixing bowl
when the machine has kneaded for 5 minutes look at the dough is it soft? can you stretch it a bit? is it smooth? if yes then pop it in a greased bowl, turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap or foil, or a reusable bowl cover-if not then let the machine knead it a bit longer
let it rise in the oven or another warm place for an hour or 2 until doubled in size
gather your dragon decoration supplies and a baking sheet
wash your hands, grease them up, do the same for the kids
have the kids rub their excess grease on to the baking sheet
punch down the dough and start shaping a dragon
will it have wings? horns? spikes? a forked tail?
we used scissors to make spines and the mouth
almonds and pumpkin seeds became scales, teeth, toenails and a nostril
cover it again and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour
bake in a 350˚ oven for 25 minutes
don't over bake the bread we pulled ours out at 25 minutes and it was already a bit too done in spots, but the center was perfect
I rubbed it all over with a pat of butter as soon as it came out of the oven
I thought it tasted a whole lot like Hawaiin Bread and my husband said "no, it's better" high praise indeed. I had to bust out a huge bag to wrap up the leftovers and needless to say I won't be baking any bread for a couple of days.
So a cold rainy Sunday was saved by a dragon and the peace he brought to our family was a blessing indeed.
Peace and Love,
and check out this totally cute picture of me eating dimsum in Chinatown hee I stole this photo from Susan