Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Episode Seven: Baking

The oldest boy and I had some time to ourselves for a change so I decided to bake a variation of Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread. The recipe is at the bottom of this update.

For this idea you will need clean hands (!), a willing volunteer and a suitable recipe.

Do Dads bake? I'm not sure. I can tell you now that I am rubbish at cooking anything that doesn't require LPG gas, hot plates and a beer in my hand. The whole obsession with cooking shows and trying out new recipes is totally lost on me. One reason is that my wife is such an incredible cook that it often feels like there is no point even trying. The main reason though, is that it's just one of those things I can seem to do no matter how hard I try. Like juggling.

All that aside, I seem to be able to bake. I definitely make the best scones out of anyone I know, I have a great double chocolate chip cookie recipe that I nail every time and I've recently mastered soft dough pretzels. So although you won't see me marinating a leg of lamb ready to roast in the oven, you may see a few bookmarks for butterscotch banana crepe cake in my browser.

I have wanted to try the pizza bread recipe for some time but also, I knew that my son would be keen on the construction part of the idea. The bread is like a pull-apart so it requires making balls of dough and stuffing them with salami and cheese. This required an almost assembly line-style kitchen and that is right up my son's alley. Repetition, building and food all seem to tick his boxes. So we gave it a whirl.

I had originally planned to talk about gender roles and how it's good for your children to see you in the kitchen and take on some of the duties. But really, I like to think those days are over. Most men are sharing the cooking and, if my friends are anything to go by, are enjoying coming up with more interesting things to put on the barbie than sausages. I really think it might be just our household where I am hardly in the kitchen. It's not a 'being a man' thing, it's just that I'm not good at it. And my eldest boy knows that. 

So, it was in to the kitchen to face the fear and do it anyway. We are trying to teach him that sometimes you just have to do the things you aren't good at and you need to do them often. I don't know if my wife would let me get away with baking pizza bread all the time but this idea was still used as an example. Not only did the bread turn out great, my helper and I had a great time rolling out dough, talking about our techniques for sealing each individual ball of dough and basically have a good old bonding session over our favourite thing: food.

An important note about this idea is that it really does require a recipe that the children can get involved with. Whether that means you do the tricky parts and they put in the ingredients or you get them to press the fork down on the biscuits. Chose a recipe that gives them enough to do and they'll see the job all the way through to the end.

Have fun!

Recipe (modified from this recipe [Confections of a Foodie Bride - ha ha!])


2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp butter or margerine
1 kg of pizza dough (I used a yeast-free pizza dough)
250g cheese, cut into small cubes (roughly 30)
30 slices of salami


Preheat oven to 200'C
Heat garlic and butter over medium heat just until the garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat and let sit.
Lightly brush the inside of a bundt pan (or other oven-safe dish) with garlic butter.
Pull off large marble-sized balls of dough and flatten.
Top with a slice of pepperoni and a cube of mozzarella.
Wrap the dough around the pepperoni and cheese, pinching well to seal.
Very lightly brush the pizza ball with garlic butter and place into the bundt pan.
Repeat until all of the dough is used.
Bake for ~35 minutes, until the top is very brown.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto a platter and serve with ketchup or other dipping sauce.

No comments:

Post a Comment