BAKING: Heart-Shaped Buns

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Seriously, if someone told me for the rest of my life I would be baking in the kitchen alongside this kid, I would be pleased as punch. happy as a clam. as happy as a pig in…. okay you get the idea. I love cooking with my baby girl. She is so very helpful and it fills my heart to see her feeling so proud of her finished product. It’s just so exciting to bring the babes into the kitchen with us, I think it can only be a good thing. A messy thing yes, but also a very good thing importantly. I have such fond memories, old and new of being in the kitchen with my mother and nana — they are ones I will forever remember and smile about.

Heart-shaped buns are perfect for the days leading up to Valentines, I just hadn’t planned on making them this soon. However thanks to Emily Young, who baked bread on TV the other morning, all that was filled in Sofia’s little mind was baking bread like em-lee. I wasn’t about to stop her, I know what’s it’s like to want to do something so bad and being so stinkin’ excited — besides we didn’t have much planned for the morning so it actually couldn’t have been more perfect. We found ourselves a very basic and simple bread recipe and off we went, with Sofia calling the shots.

The kneading I would say was the very best part. Sofia played with the dough for almost 20 minutes; Oh did she ever love to squish it and roll it and make her finger holes in it. As my girl Jen from Mama. Papa. Bubba. always says #playmatters -, we played with the dough just enough, then we let it rise in a warm oven. The hour passed and we “punched-it” down and started to make out buns-of-love. We used cookie cutters to make our hearts, but I am sure you could also free-hand them with a knife. We brushed them with a simple egg-wash and sprinkled them with sesame seeds, another one of Fia’s favorite parts. What kid doesn’t like to “sprinkle sprinkle”.

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INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups Milk
2 tbsp Butter | melted
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 cups Flour
2 3/4 tsp Dry Yeast | active

METHOD
Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with your paddle. Once your dough ball forms, take out to further knead, and play with; perfect time to let the babes have fun {not sure if you can over-knead, however after 20 minutes of play, I can tell you ours still turned out fabulous, and fluffy}. Place your dough in a buttered bowl with a damp cloth over top and put in a warm place, away from any drafts, I chose the oven that I had pre-heated to 200 degrees and turned off while we were knead-playing. Let an hour pass, or when you see that it has doubled in size. Punch it down and start pressing out your heart-shaped buns. Let them rise once more for about 30 minutes, brush with a simple egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place them in your oven that has been pre-heated at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes {depending on the size of your hearts}.

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Do you enjoy baking in the kitchen with you babes? Granted it makes a larger mess, and quite possibly takes triple the time, but the memories, the giggles…. so worth it in my eyes!

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