almond, blog, blogger, bread, butter, Chichester, children, chocolate, home education, maple, yeast

In Which Sponge Bakes With The Small Shouty One


I was definitely the designated bottle washer. The Small Shouty One has been a real sport. 2010 was a pretty hard year for us all, let alone for a small 4 year old. She took the arrival of an extremely demanding little baby really well and has nothing but great love for the Seventh Wonder. During our walk to the Minerva Theatre yesterday, she was chatting to me about baking and how she wants to grow up and be a baker just like me. We sort of made a baking date for today.

Now, SniffSnorters, do not confuse this post as a straightforward baking one. We did follow a recipe which we found on Google.I have to say, we didn’t really read it through thoroughly. The Small Shouty One discovered that this one involved Nutella and that was enough for her. I think the basic recipe was a chollah bread recipe and it was enough for three loaves but we somehow ended up with only two.

I threw caution to the wind and said that The Small Shouty One could crack the eggs herself. She did that surprisingly well. She also didn’t mind that we didn’t have enough runny honey and had to use maple syrup instead.

The thing with baking and small children is that it’s never just about making food, is it? It’s actually more craft than it is culinary. The Small Shouty One had no interest in what is it that the yeast she had mixed in to the mixture actually did. There was no way I could emphasise enough that the dough realistically ought to be allowed to prove overnight to improve the flavour.

I didn’t dare.

Would you argue with a face like that?

That was after she caught Lalla sticking her finger into the jar of Nutella.

So she carried on making the bread in her own merry way while I washed up.

And I can’t help but notice how I’m not even considering what edumakashional value this experience has. I doubt The Small Shouty One did either. She was in the kitchen, with her Mummy, getting her hands dirty, using Mummy’s scary kitchen equipment and let loose with a jar of Nutella.

All this while the Seventh Wonder was well away from being remotely able to interfere.

And I became so overwhelmed with the realisation of how much I’ve missed her.

It’s a funny thing the arrival of a new child in a family. Not only do the older siblings have to learn to readjust, I’ve discovered that so do I to a certain extent. I wonder if other mothers mourn the growing-up-ness of their children too? It’s almost like the Empty Nest syndrome, but ridiculously premature.

And the breads? I decided that it was ok to reduce the proving time to just 45 minutes. That must be like an eternity to small children. Who cares if the flavour improves overnight? We all know how satisfying it is to eat hot, almost steaming fresh from the oven bread.

The flavour was stupendous. It was delicious and we devoured almost both loaves. We would probably have eaten them all except for the fact that The Small Shouty One is now in bed and she would inflict the nipple cripple on us if we had any more.

If you are interested in discovering just how much we deviated from the original recipe, you can read it here.

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10 thoughts on “In Which Sponge Bakes With The Small Shouty One

  1. I know what you mean about premature Empty Nest Syndrome, Aida: my Small One Who Presses Buttons and Never Stops Talking regularly breaks my heart with his grown up-ness. I was programmed to have more children than fate decreed.

  2. That is so true, i regularly panic that by having another baby did I miss the growing upness of 3-4 in a blur. The middle one is 6, well ok, his body is 6, he’s actually 47 with padded elbows on his blazer but did that happen whilst I was sleep deprived and mindless? I don;t think it did, ofcourse we saw them. But i do love the odd bit of one on one time. I’m currently incubating a friendship cake which take 10 days to mature…… now that’s a looooooooong time! That’s like forever in 4 yrd old time!

  3. Angela Henry says:

    So true. Eloise is high maintenance and I really feel sad at the moment when I can’t sit and do anything with the others that they will be grown before I get any time for them. I miss being able to do all the fun things with them like leave the house!!. I know we will be able to at some point but Natalie is nearly 6 so nearly half her life has been with me pregnant and horribly sick or looking after small high maintenance one. Lucky she loves babies!!

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