knits by sachi

Baking with children

on January 4, 2014

Baking with children

I really feel sorry for mothers with small children. It has been so wet and horrible in the UK recently. It just doesn’t stop raining.

When my children were small, we did a lot of hand craft at home on rainy days. Since we didn’t have a television or computer games, we needed to use our imagination and creativity to enjoy the day.

Baking bread was one of the fun projects. We could let steam out by bashing the dough on the kitchen worktop, too.

My boys favorite was bread with Adzuki bean paste. They still love them.

In Japanese food shops, you can find powdered Adzuki ready to use for cooking but I quite often use tinned Adzuki bean from supermarket.

Bread with Adzuki bean paste

for the paste
400g (1 tin) Adzuki bean including water
100-130g sugar or desired quantity

for bread
450g strong bread flour
2 tsp or 10g fast acting dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
10g butter
1 tsp salt
170-190ml warm milk

1. Put Adzuki bean and sugar in a saucepan and cook until thick. You would need to make into a thick paste for easy handling.

2. Put the strong bread flour in a mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar on one side and salt and lukewarm milk on the other. Put butter next to salt as well. Gently mix them together. If the mixture ins too sticky, add more flour, if it is too dry, add milk.

3. When combined, take the dough out onto a work table and knead good 15 minutes.

4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and set it aside to prove, about 45 minutes. This gives the yeast time to work: the dough should double in size.

5. Once proven, punch the dough to knock out air. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut up in several pieces. Spread out the piece with rolling pin and place the cooled adzuki paste in the centre. Roll it into a ball. Shape it into a animal shapes or faces if you would like; teddy, fish, hedgehog, etc. Use raisins for eyes. Use kitchen scissors and snap the dough to make the spikes of a hedgehog.


6. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave for 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Brush with beaten egg yolk for glaze (optional) Bake in a pre-heated oven, 350F or 180C for about 15 minutes.

You can use chocolate paste or peanut butter for variations.

A Happy rainy day!


8 responses to “Baking with children

  1. Great way to spend rainy days! You are a creative mother and woman! I cook and eat recently a lot of azukibeans, because they are would be good for kidneys, when you need some strength there. This is a great recepy, to eat it differently than at dinner time. Question: do you need the fruitsuger? Could you do without it?
    Take care overthere with the floods!
    The Netherlands

    • knitsbysachi says:

      No, I changed the recipe a little after I realized that I made a mistake in the quantity. You can use any sugar. You can control the amount. How sweet you want to make is up to you. This is very traditional sweet bread in Japan called An-Pan. Without any sugar, it may be too bland and difficult to form a paste.
      Do you know how to make red bean rice? That is another of my favorite using adzuki beans.

      • Thank you for your explanation about the azuki paste. And No, i don’t know the azikibean rice recepy. I’d love to hear about that. My bean and lentil mixes are usualy kind of indian spiced with all kinds of little bits of veggies in it, like carrots, parsnip, red pepper, union, garlic, etc, or whatever i got in my refridgerator. Always served with bismati rice wholemeal. Often put some cottage cheese on top of the beanmix, some grated cheese and some sesames seeds and grill it a bit. If i have left overs, it makes a good soupbroth the nex day. Ah, preparing a meal and cooking makes me happy and even kind of mindfullness…

  2. knitsbysachi says:

    Your recipe sounds very very healthy and tasty! I love beans and I would like to try it. My younger son is such a fussy eater, but he eats beans and cheese so this is a good idea.
    Thank you for the good tips. Rice with Adzuki beans is very traditional, often served for celebrations. We use sweet sticky rice (stickier than Sushi rice), but it isn’t too easy to find it in shops here. I will try to improvise a little and come up with the recipe with Sushi rice.

  3. mydearbakes says:

    OMG this is soo cute!

  4. […] dough. Knead 15 minutes, and let it proof 40 min. To see how to make the basic dough, please go here.You can let the machine bread maker do this […]

  5. Melon bread says:

    […] dough. Knead 15 minutes, and let it proof 40 min. To see how to make the basic dough, please go here.You can let the machine bread maker do this […]

  6. […] buns with sweet filling are popular and often eaten as a snack. I have shown you the recipes of an-pan (bread with sweetened red bean paste), cream pan (with custard cream filling) in the […]

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