Nothing beats the smell of fresh, home-made bread baking on a cold winter day. The kids will love decorating these little doughboys, and they make great gifts from the kitchen for the holidays.
What you will need (for 4 snowmen) :
2 tbsp brown sugar (“Vergeoise Brune” in French)
5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
½ cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast (One package = 2 1/4 teaspoons = 1/4 ounce )
Pinch of granulated sugar
1 ½ cups warm milk (plus a little extra for brushing on the snowmen before baking)
4 tbsp softened butter
Gumdrops or other jellied candies, decorative sprinkles
Time necessary to complete project : about 2 1/2 hour s total (including 1 ½ hours for the dough to rise)
Age level : 3 years and up. Adult supervision is necessary for baking.
1) In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar and salt. Set aside.
2) Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water (about 100°F, or 38°C) and add the pinch of sugar. Stir and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and the bubbling has stopped.
3) Add the warm milk, softened butter and 2 cups of the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix well and then continue adding the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is stiff.
4) Knead the dough on a lightly-floured surface for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and springs back when touched.
5) Place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Allow the dough to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
6) Place the dough ball back on the lightly-floured surface and punch it down.
7) For4 medium-sized snowmen, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.
8) For each snowman, pinch off a small, a medium and a large piece of dough and roll them into balls for the head, chest and body.
9) Place all 3 pieces flat on a non-stick baking sheet (or one covered with aluminum foil) and pinch together to join them. Repeat for the other 3 snowmen.
10) Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise another 30-45 minutes.
11) Heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
12) Brush milk on the snowmen and decorate as desired with the dried fruits and candies . Before placing snowmen in the oven, cover the decorations with small pieces of aluminum foil to keep them from burning.
13)Bake for about 30 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
14) Cool snowmen on a wire rack and then add a ribbon scarf to each.
Tips : For a healthier treat, you can also use only nuts and dried fruits as decorations. Wrap your cooled snowmen in pretty, clear plastic wrap and give them to your friends, family and teachers as yummy holiday gifts.