Pizza and hedgehogs for tea

 I’m excited about being a stay-at-home mother, because Small Boy’s at a stage where he is loads of fun and learning new things every day, but I know there are going to be days when nothing goes right and I’m going to be tired and exasperated with him. So with my last day at work coming soon, I’ve been trying to come up with new ideas for when it’s too rainy/cold to go outside.

Today was Fun With Dough. When we got home from nursery and Small Boy had fallen asleep in his bicycle trailer, I started a dough recipe in the breadmaker and cleared the dining room table. When he woke up, we went for a walk down to the centre of town, and on our return, the dough was ready.

I brought the bowl of dough to the table and sprinkled a pie sheet with flour. I handed Small Boy his little plastic rolling pin and a lump of floury dough and told him to make whatever he liked. He loves play-dough, and this was even better because he could eat it. He started patting out dough pancakes while I made a hedgehog.

 

Hedgehog rolls

Take a lump of bread dough and shape it into a ball. Shape one end into a point and press in two currants for eyes. With scissors, make rows of little snips in the round part of the dough to form hedgehog spines. Brush with a mixture of beaten egg white and water, leave to rise for half an hour, and bake on gas mark 5 for 10-20 minutes. Check the oven frequently, because they cook at different times depending on their size. They turned out pretty well, although a couple of the eyes popped out as the dough swelled. Delicious hot from the oven with butter and crabapple jelly.

Small Boy found the hedgehogs charming but did not want to make one himself. Since he preferred pancake shapes, we decided to make little pizzas similar to some he ate at a party we attended recently. Once the tiny pizzas were arranged on the pan, I put a dab of tomato paste and a dollop of basil pesto on each one, handed my assistant a spoon and asked him to help me spread the sauce out on the pizzas. Then we arranged slices of mushroom and put two or three capers on each small pizza. I went in the kitchen to grate a bowl of cheese. I returned to find Small Boy carefully picking the capers off and eating them. We sprinkled on the cheese, then I took the pizzas into the kitchen and re-capered them. They only took 15 minutes to cook on gas mark 5, and then we had a picnic in the garden. I think Small Boy would have been happy to sit at the table and cut shapes in his dough with the little scissors for another hour. We’re definitely going to do this again.

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About emilyallwright

I'm an American living in England with my husband and small child. I'm interested in sustainable living and old-fashioned skills, detective fiction and folk music.
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