This is just an idea.
Bake sales are popular. You can’t turn a corner without the local sexual health charity peddling rude cupcakes or student communists shouting after you to try their patisserie.
Bake sales are popular because they represent all things brilliant in society. They not only raise mind-boggling cash for charity, but they’re super fun to run and everyone, customer and vendor alike, gets right into the spirit. So why not try starting a bake sale with a difference?
You’ve got the chance to both raise lots of cash for charity and try a new thing – bread. Bread can be intimidating, but there’s genuinely nothing to get stressed about! There are plenty of great beginner books out there (Richard Bertinet and Dan Lepard probably best), but also a fantastic resource online (The Fresh Loaf amongst others http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf ). Not only that, but here’s a Bake Sale Specific Recipe for you – I hope you’ll find it so simple that you’ll not only make pots of money for a good cause, but you’ll keep baking bread forever more.
And what cause is better than Children in Need? As well as the truly wonderful work that is done on their behalf, it provides opportunity to get everyone baking bread and utilise possibly the best bun in baking: it’s time to Raise Some Dough for Children in Knead. (I’ll admit, it was actually my father (@thebeatcroft) who came up with it…)
Go on. Give it a go! I’m sure someone can lend you a folding table or picnic blanket.
Crusty Bake Sale Buns
500g Strong White Flour (or plain flour if that’s all you’ve got)
One 7g sachet fast-action yeast (make sure it’s in date!)
340g water (weigh all your ingredients if you can for better accuracy)
Optional: a flavouring of your choice; fresh herbs, dried fruit, and nuts all work well
Makes 12 buns.
Total time required in the kitchen: 5-10 minutes. Start them the evening before your bake sale for best results.
1. In a large bowl, weigh the flour. With your fingers, rub in the salt at one edge of the bowl and the sachet of dried yeast on the opposite side (the salt can stop the yeast working). Add the flavouring if you’re using.
2. Add the water to the dry ingredients, and mix together until it forms a coherent dough (use your dough to mop up all the flour on the bowl). Cover your bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film and rest in a warm place for at least 30-40 minutes, or until noticeably expanded in size.
3. Wet the fingers of one hand, and slide your fingertips between the bowl and the dough and fold the dough in half. Turn the bowl a quarter turn, and repeat until you have removed all of the air and it is noticeably smooth. Keep your fingers wet to stop them sticking. Cover your bowl again, and rest the dough for a full hour, or until noticeably ballooned in size.
4. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and using floured hands this time, roll it up into a long sausage shape. Cut the sausage in half and in half again. Divide each piece of dough into 3 so you have 12 rough pieces of dough.
5. On a surface without any flour on it, place your piece of dough. Rub some flour into the palm of one hand, getting rid of any excess. Cup your floured hand as if you had to carry water in it, then turn it upside down keeping that same shape. Place your hand around your little piece of dough and make big circular movements with your hand. You should feel the dough turning with the friction between your hand and the work surface – this will tighten it into a nice ball. Repeat, placing the rolls on an oiled baking tray.
6. Pop your tray in the fridge overnight; this slows the yeast right down. In the morning they should almost be touching (it doesn’t matter if they do touch, you can tear them apart after baking!). Preheat your oven to 200C (190 fan) about 20 minutes before you want to bake them.
7. Before you bake them, lightly slash the top of each roll in a cross shape using a bread knife. Pop your baking tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until your rolls are a dark golden brown.