Today we have both craft time and afternoon snack covered!
In week 8 we learned all about Zimbabwe from some tasty sweet potato cookies to a science experiment all about Victoria Falls. The one thing we never got to learn about was all the different types of animals who live in that region of Africa. According to some, Zimbabwe is one of the best destinations for going on a safari.
Since we can’t safely go to the zoo right now, we looked at some pictures and talked about zebras, giraffes, lions, rhinos, hippos, and more! Then I asked Martin to pick 2 and he picked lions and giraffes.
So we made lion and giraffe hand puppets! By painting brown bags and glueing cut paper, we were able to work on several of Martin’s skills with this one craft.
He loves to cut but he still struggles with controlling the scissors. He had a blast cutting out the lions mane, while I cut out the eyes and ears.
All in all it was pretty simple and a fast craft broken up by paint drying time in the middle 🙂
I love pretzels and I love colorful food. I was inspired by the current season (USA Netflix season 8) of the Great British Bake Off’s bread episode. The technical challenge was rainbow bagels and the recipe I planned on using was an adapted bagel recipe into a pretzel recipe. So I thought why not?!
The recipe is from Alton Brown an American tv cooking show host and personality. I’ve enjoyed his recipes before so I thought this one was worth the try!
I was going to color the dough full rainbow like the bagels on GBBO but instead my eyes landed on 3 colors on the top of my food dye container- black, red and yellow. In that instant I changed plans and we were no longer going to make rainbow pretzels but German flag pretzels!
You can find the recipe that I used here: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-soft-pretzels-recipe-1948242
When you kneed the dough after mixing it and before proofing it, kneed the color into the dough- if you are new to kneeding (like me!) adding color is a great way to force you to kneed as much as you need to (ha!)
Kneed it till the color is even and you should get a lovely ‘window pane’- a test to see if you’ve developed enough gluten by stretching a small piece of dough till you can see light through it, like a window pane, if it rips before you can see through it you need to kneed it more.
When it came to shaping the dough I rolled out each color into a rectangle and layered one on top of the other. Then I cut strips of the dough, we twisted it and then shaped the pretzels!
I grew up watching the ‘artists’ at the Auntie Anne’s pretzel places in our local mall- they would roll it out, smack it on the table and in mid-air twist it, lay it down and it was a perfect pretzel. Every. Single. TIME!
I tried my hand at this technique and I was able to do it, I was pretty proud of myself! However, so that Martin could do it with me, we followed Alton’s guide- make a U, cross the loose ends 2 times, bring them down and press to secure. We were able to do them together for the most part and it was a lot of fun!
The boiling made a massive mess but I don’t know how else to do it- this steps is what gives the pretzel it’s chewy exterior.
We baked them off and enjoyed our German snack for a couple of days. I was the most enamored with the color but I mean come on- don’t these look cool!?