Growing in the Kitchen Series – Crusty Country Loaf Age 1+

Oh hello cruchy yet fluffy ball of deliciousness!

There is a health argument against grains. It’s probably a good one. But there will always be a time and place in my life for hot delicious bread, and when that times comes, I will fill it with THIS!

Not only is this loaf fancy in its crunchy outside and quite fabulous looking shape, but it is also pretty much the yummiest bread around. Simplicity at its most delectable. What’s lovely about it is that my kids can not just helpmake this bread, but my 3.5 year old can pretty much make it on her own, (with some kneading help because her knuckles really are quite small 🙂 ) as it’s a super simple recipe!

What you need

  • 1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water, plus more if needed
  • 5 cups (about 625g) flour. I use bread flour (strong flour), but plain flour will also work, I just find it’s a bit denser. French rustic flour also works well too! You might need a bit more, and definitely a few more tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • You’ll also need a cast iron pot or bread cloche, or dutch oven.

I’m making this with my two girls, aged 16 months and 3.5 years.

The awesome thing about cooking is that it’s not even really about cooking, it’s that the lessons we learn in the kitchen are such wonderful life skills! What a magical place – planning, preparing, measuring, stirring, whipping, watching, waiting, and then *WOW!* something delicious appears. It is science at its very best. Food for growing minds 🙂
Gathering ingredients is a *great* activity for kids. For T-bear (16months), it gives her a chance to practice following instructions “Could you get the flour please, T?”, understanding language, “And now V-bot will pass you the salt. Please bring it to me!” and exercise in carrying heavy stuff while staying balanced! For V, she works on language, memory, instruction-following as well as helping her sister and anticipating needs.
This time, T-bear bit off a bit more than she could chew, trying to carry a whole bag of flour over for me. This is great gross motor practice for her so I stayed out of it even though I knew it might be troublesome. I’m so glad I did. She struggled, dropped it, and finally, got some help from her sister: I was so proud when V-bot asked her “T, would you like some help?” T said “Yeh!”, so V helped her pick it up and place it in her arms! I love that V is understanding that helping someone means aiding them in doing it themselves, not doing it for them! This was great awareness on her part.

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