There's nothing like the smell of baking bread to brighten up a cloudy, stuck inside day (a lesson we learned from Elisa Kleven's Sun Bread). And, since bread dough can be formed into so many entertaining, boredom busting shapes, it makes for a great rainy day activity, as well.
During our last sudden summer shower I loaded up the bread maker on the dough setting, with the necessary ingredients for a batch of white bread, and sat down with the children to search through Google images for something fun to make. They settled on rolls, inspired by octopus bread bowls from Chew and Chew, about the time the bread maker beeped to indicate the dough was ready.
I pinched the dough into eight equal pieces, since there are eight of us, and gave them to the children to sculpt on floured pieces of wax paper, for easy clean-up.
They pinched each of the eight pieces into two equal pieces - one for the head, and one for the arms of their octopuses. And, they divided the second piece in half, and half again, and once more in halves to make eight balls of dough...
...into which they pressed...
...sliced olive eyes.
We covered them with clean towels, to let them rise, while the oven was preheating. Then, we baked them at 350°F for 25 minutes, gave them a quick coating of butter...
...and gobbled them up, while the thunder rolled, with steaming bowls of left-over spaghetti soup, just like my Dad used make.
For more rainy day, child-friendly, bread sculpting ideas, check out the links below.
Ugly Bug Breakfast Bread
or Sun Bread