It's a fun and useful activity that we like to do together on weekend mornings.
Arjun loves non-sticky tactile experiences and he loves "working." So kneading and shaping dough has always been of interest to him.
We've been baking bread for weeks now and we've tried many, many different recipes. We've recently started using our own version of several different ones.
This is what we've developed so far:
1 tsp instant yeast
3.5 cups warmish water (or whey from making yogurt - we learned this in Make the Bread and Buy the Butter it makes the bread more tangy.....Mmmmmm)
4 cups white or bread flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cup oats
2 cups whole-wheat flour
seeds - always add sesame, poppy and flax seeds. I sometimes add fennel. Fennel is great for toast and cheese sandwiches, but Arjun and I do not like fennel seeds with peanut butter and jam.
Mix all ingredients together and knead - or use a dough hook on a mixer - for a bit. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm dark place for an hour or so. If you moisten the towel it will keep the dough from developing a crust if the warm area is very warm. Punch down then place about half of the dough in an oiled pyrex bread pan. Maybe ours is 4"X10"? Cover, and let rise for another hour or so. Then bake at 425 for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and tasty looking.
Arjun and I put the rest of the dough in an oiled glass bowl and leave it in the refrigerator. We use the dough to make pizza, baguettes or another loaf later in the week.