Baking Alone vs Baking With The Kids

I love to bake. Occasionally cakes, although I have to admit, there’s room for improvement there. My real passion is bread. And my favourite time to make it is when DSC_5991there are no children within a 2 mile radius.
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Baking is hailed as one of the best activities you can do at home with your child. And I have to admit, they do love it. It also teaches them a range of different things, including maths when measuring ingredients, fine motor skills when cracking an egg and science when observing the reaction between yeast and warm water.
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I even quite enjoy it myself. Even though it’s a lot messy than doing it on my own, it’s a fun time when we can chat and bond together.
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I’d still rather be on my own, though. And this is why.
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Here is how I bake:

Gather my ingredients and arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Measure them out into the mixer, tidying them away as I go.

Turn on the mixer.

Turn off the mixer to check if Squeak has woken up.

Turn the mixer back on.

Now the kneading. This is my favourite part. I can visualise every one of my frustrations, and then pound them into a doughy pulp. It’s beautiful.

Then I leave the dough to rise while I put my feet up. Ha, just kidding! I run upstairs to get Squeak back to sleep.

I spend time carefully working the dough into the desired shape, periodically pausing to smile and admire my handiwork.

More rising, more resettling Squeak.

I stick my creation into the oven and sit back to enjoy the delicious yeasty smell wafting through the house.

I take it out and check for imperfections. There are many.

But still, I am happy.

I eat it.

Mmmmm.

Mmmmm.

Here’s how I bake with the kids:

I usually make cakes with the children. They take less time, and kneading dough is a revoltingly effective way to clean the dirt out from under their fingernails <shudders>

First, I call them into the kitchen.

I grimace at the generally grimy state of them and scrub their hands.

I referee an argument about which stool each of them will stand on. It culminates in me saying, “For goodness’ sake Big Girl, you’re twice the size of Little Girl, just stand on the small one!”

While collecting the ingredients, I discuss the likelihood of Big Girl learning to fly when she grows up.

They argue over who will put which ingredient in. I threaten to do it all myself. I win.

I tell Little Girl to stop picking her nose.

I hand Big Girl the eggs to crack into a cup (a newly acquired skill).

I hand Big Girl a new egg.

I wipe the egg up off the floor.

I forget to put the shield on the mixer.

I laugh uproariously as flour sprays directly into Big Girl’s face. After a brief glare, she laughs too.

I tell Little Girl to stop picking her nose.

They ask if they can eat some of the mixture. Not yet.

We spoon the mixture into the tin.

I scrape the spills off the table.

Into the oven it goes, and I set the timer.

The children fall on the mixing bowl like ravenous wolves, reaching in elbow-deep to scrape out the very last drip of cake mixture.

I turn around, surveying the result of our efforts. Chaos, with a light dusting of flour.

I ask who is going to help me tidy up.

The kids Disapparate, along with the timer.

A buzzing is heard, and little feet race to the kitchen.

I comfort the child who didn’t stop in time and crashed into the baby gate.

I tell Little Girl to stop picking her nose.

Out comes the cake, and all stop to sniff and sigh.

I tell them not to poke it.

The agonising ‘cooling down’ wait follows.

I tell them not to poke it. Many times.

Then, it is cool. By that time it is usually late in the day, so I rush through the icing myself. Therefore, this is the cleanest bit of the cake.

We eat it.

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Ya see?

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