No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Pudsey bear bread

I've been asked to provide a recipe for a Pudsey bear bread which will appear on the Baking Mad website, along with all their cupcake recipes.

(£10 was donated by the organisers on my behalf in recognition of my efforts.)

I was keen to do this - I'm in favour of anything that brings children and families into breadmaking. 

There are quite a few images of Pudsey, but, after a lot of thought I decided on this one - as you'll see, I tried a few of the others as well.

I'm not very artistic - I'm sure you can all do better than this!
This is a lovely bread for parent and child to make together. Most youngsters aged 3 or upwards will be able to do almost all of the work required to make this. All apart from the oven work, I reckon!

200g (or 1 mug) strong white flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
125g (or 1/3rd of a mug) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of any type of yeast
25g olive oil (optional)

Several dried apricots (which is what I used - the unsulphured kind), or prunes, or dates - for the mouth, nose and eye
Ready to roll icing (or you could use water icing if you're very neat - I'm not!)
Coloured coco beans (or you could use Smarties)

1. Place the flours into a mixing bowl and add the sugar. Measure the water and stir in the yeast to dissolve. Add to the dough followed by the olive oil if using.

Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by holding the bowl with one hand and stirring with the fingers of the other. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – but stop before you get fed up!

4. Cover and leave to prove for an hour - or go straight to step 5.

5. Shaping. Form the dough into a bap shape, and roll it out into a circle - using flour to make sure it doesn't stick. When you're rolling out a bread dough, keep turning it round and refreshing the flour if need be.

6. Tease out the ears whilst keeping a rough circle shape and place the dough onto some baking parchment. Cut the dried fruit in the shape of a mouth, a nose, an eye and an eyebrow and place these on the face. 

7. Leave to prove until puffy and rising then bake for around 15 minutes at 200C.

8. When the bread is finished (look for colour underneath to tell you it's ready) and cooled a little - on a tea towel or a wire tray - roll out the 'Ready to Roll' icing and place it over Pudsey's face. Then take the choco beans and place them on the 'bandage'. Finally, take a small piece of icing and place it on the eye - to give it that special glint!

My preparation:
When I was practicing for this - with the help of my support workers, Emma and Lisa, in the care home I work in on Thursdays, we came up with these shapes - you might like to have a go at some yourself:

The one on the left had several white chocolate chips added - the other two were made with a simple fruit dough

How did Mr Blobby get in here?

This was done with ordinary icing sugar - much neater than I could have done - though still not as neat as the roll-out icing!
The one on the left has been severely mutilated - before I could take a pic!

The only decorations we could find were some 100s and 1000s, glace cherries and lemon and orange jelly tots.

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