Monday, January 31, 2011


HONEY WHEAT TOAST & TEA - an after school snack for kids.

Is there anything as wonderful as walking into a home that smells of freshly baked bread. It can even warm the cockles of shivering little January students, return home after a full day of school, seeking warmth, comfort and sustenance. While taking tea is not traditionally an American custom, it is earning welcome acceptance in our homes thanks to the efforts of more local tea shops like Teavana. If you have not been fortunate enough to sample their wares, I urge you check in with a fresh loose leaf tea supplier and treat yourself and your little ones to this naturally low calorie, antioxidant, stress reducing, delicious indulgence.

Toast & Tea, I marvel at what little effort it takes to turn Bread & Water - a beggar's meal, into a heavenly experience. While any artisan loaf purchased from your local baker should suffice, I wanted to allow my little chef to have a hands-on kitchen experience beyond the "play-dough". If you are purchasing an artisan loaf, you can freshen it in the oven by lightly dampening the crust with a spritz of water and placing it in a preheated 325º F oven until warmed through and crisp on the outside.

1/3 Cup lukewarm Water
4 tbs. Butter
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tbs. Honey
3 Tbs. Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup chopped Walnuts
2 Cups White Wheat Flour
1 Cup Bread Flour
2 Tbs. Melted Butter

Our young chef begins by adding 1/3 cup lukewarm Water to a mixing bowl. The water must be warm enough to awaken the yeast, - but not too hot. The chef sprinkles in about a teaspoon of granulated sugar to feed the yeast.

The Yeast is allowed to "proof" for approximately 10 minutes. Eventually it will appear frothy and bubbly, confirming that it has become active.

While the yeast is proofing, the supervising chef adds 4 tablespoons of Butter and 1/2 cup Milk to a small sauce pan and stirs over low heat until the butter is melted. Note: allow this mixture to cool to lukewarm before adding to the yeast.

By cradling an egg in one hand, and rapping it gently with spoon, our young chef cracks an egg. The supervising chef carries out the separation of the shell halves. In this way, the young chef is able to participate in the addition of the eggs to the recipe, without the addition of egg shell to the mixture.

1 teaspoon of Salt, 3 tablespoons of Sugar & 1 tablespoon of Honey is added to the mixture.

The yeast mixture is stirred to combine all ingredients.

Our chef finely chops 3/4 cup of Walnuts and folds them into the mixture.

2 cups of White Wheat Flour & 1 cup of Bead Flour is measured and added until a doughy ball is formed inside the bowl.

The supervising chef turns the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and kneads (~ 10 minutes) until smooth and elastic. Our young chef adds pinches of bench flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Our chef brushes a large bowl with 1 tablespoons of melted butter, transfers the dough to the buttered bowl and brushes the top with another 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter. He then covers the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and lets it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Our chef then punches down the dough, re-covers it and lets it rise until doubled in bulk again, about 1 hour.Our supervising chef punches down the dough, and turns it out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough is flatten with the chef's hands and rolled out to a 10-by-8 inch rectangle. Starting from the short end, the chef rolls the dough into a snug log. The ends and pinched well to seal. The loaf is set, seam side down, into a prepared loaf pan. It is covered and allowed to rise for 35 minutes. The top is glazed with the remain 1/2 tbs. melted butter. Bake the loaf at 350º F for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. After baking, the loaf is turned out and allowed to cool on a wire rack. Makes one 9"x 5" loaf.
Please, enjoy. As always, if you have a recipe or cooking project that was a winner with your child, please email it to me at:, and we hope to see you again soon at The Chef's Emporium.