Today I decided to make a simple bread dough so that my son could use it as PlayDoh. The idea being is that he could make designs which I could then prove and bake later. It is no different to a standard bread dough. The idea in principal worked fine however I'm not sure he completely understood the connection between this dough and PlayDoh.

PlayDoh? No, it's a simple real bread dough!

In the end he just messed around with the dough and didn't really produce anything to bake. A bit of a shame, but the first time I'd given him free reign with real dough. Maybe he didn't realise that he could make whatever he wanted. Anyway after a while he just put the dough back in the mixing bowl and played something else.

I will be trying this again because it did keep him entertained for quite a while. Next time, however, I may structure the time with him and maybe use it to teach him how to mould normal bread or make some funny. Hopefully with me there directing him it may provoke more imagination. We will see.

 

Ingredients for 2lb of simple bread dough for 'PlayDoh'

  • 20 ounces of strong bread flour (I used multi-grain today)
  • 11 1/2 fluid ounces of tepid water
  • 3/4 oz salt (I use coarse sea salt)
  • 1/2 ounce (2 heaped dessert spoons) of fat (ie butter or margarine)
  • 1/2 ounce of dried yeast
  • food dye (optional)

 

How to make the simple bread dough

First I activate the dried yeast in the tepid water, making sure it's mixed in and leaving it for a good 10-15 minutes until there is what looks like a 'head of beer' on top.

Whilst this is activating I normally weigh out the ingredients into the mixing bowl, I'm using my Kenwood with a dough hook so straight into there. When the yeast is ready start the mixer off slowly, adding in the yeast water. You can then increase the speed a little and continue to mix for a good 10 minutes. If the mixture is coming away from the sides it's a good mix. If it's stuck to the sides still mix half a dessert spoon of extra flour in until it comes together. If it's tight and dry to touch you'll need to add water instead.

Remove the dough hook when it's ready and form into a ball in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for at least an hour for the flavour to develop. I normally cover the bowl with a warmed plate.

When the hours up the simple bread dough aka 'PlayDoh' is ready to be played with. Break off a small amount for the child to play with, you can colour the dough if you wish.

When they've finished their design, lay on baking paper on a baking tray with enough space to double in size between each. Cover the tray if you can, or put in a off oven, microwave, cupboard even just to keep it away from draughts.

When it's nearly doubled in size preheat oven to 225C and bake when ready. Timings will depend on size of each piece of dough.

Six Strand Plaited Mutli-Grain Loaf

Anyway, I made a quick plaited loaf with the multi-grain dough once he'd discarded it, can't waste good dough now can we. I used 1lb of dough for the loaf and froze the rest for another day. I don't normally make less that a 2lb of dough simply because it's easier to measure the ingredients and freeze excess dough, defrosting when required.


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