Friday, March 16, 2012

Sun Bread

One of the books we are reading this month (we homeschool) is Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven.  In the story it is a cold, dreary winter and everyone in the town is wishing the sun would come back out.  The baker decides to make a giant, warm, delicious sun-shaped bread that draws all the townspeople to her bakery, warms their hearts and tummies and even makes the spring sun shine again.  It is a perfect story for this time of year. I purchased the book with the intent of reading it and baking sun bread with the kids and I didn't even realize the book includes a tasty recipe for 'sun bread' inside the back cover!  Here are a few photos of the kids baking sun bread (with my help).  I think that the braided egg bread recipe I posted several years back would also work well for this, and you could even add a few extra eggs if you want the dough to be more yellow like the sun!  You can purchase the book here.

Sun Bread Recipe adapted from Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven:

3 eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 stick butter
6 tsp. active dry yeast 
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. warm milk
1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. water (for brushing before baking)

1. In a large mixing bowl combine:
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, melted.

2. In a small bowl combine:
6 tsp. active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. lukewarm milk (105-115 degrees)

3 Tbsp. sugar

Let stand until yeast is activated and mixture is foamy (5-10 minutes).

3. Add the yeast mixture to flour mixture and incorporate with hands (let the kids get their hands dirty, this is the fun part!).  Let little hands take turns kneading the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.

4. Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a slightly damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.  *Tip!  if your house is cold or drafty let your dough rise in the oven (no drafts in there!) OR turn your oven on to 400 F for ONE MINUTE then turn off and let your dough rise in the slightly warmed oven.  Kinda speeds up the process!

5. Punch down dough, knead again for a few minutes, then separate into two portions.

6. Shape one portion into a ball and flatten with your palm.  This is the sun's face.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pull a small portion off the 2nd ball of dough and roll into a circle to make the nose.  Attach to the sun's face (use a little water if it isn't sticking enough).  Divide the rest into several small portions for the kids to shape into "snails" and triangles and help them attach these to the outside of the sun.  Create the eyes and mouth of the sun.  I used a turkey baster (of all things) to make deep holes for the eyes and a sharp paring knife to cut a deep "smile."  They have to be deep enough that they won't close up while baking!

7. Cover the sun and let it rise again for another hour.

8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix egg yolk with water and brush over the top of your "sun" for a nice, shiny, dark crust.

9. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Enjoy!  

This is especially fun to make when winter is transitioning into spring and everyone is excited about the sun, flowers, and trees returning!  It would also be neat as a summer solstice project!

No comments: