Bread Making at the “Romantic Forest”

This past weekend, the kids and I drove about twenty minutes to Romanchiku Mura (which means “Romantic Forest”).  It’s a huge park with several different forests and wide open natural areas for exploring and walking, an indoor pool, shops and restaurants, a kids’ play area, and a crane habitat.  I had been there long ago, but I’d never taken the kids.  I thought it would be a good chance for the kids to get some outdoor play time in a new environment.  We also decided to sign up for a one day bread baking class.  Apparently, they have these classes every Sunday in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

We love homemade bread, but always use a bread machine, so this was a first for us to make bread by hand.  The type of bread you can make in the class always changes, but this time is was “anpan” (bread with sweet bean paste in it) and “curry pan” (bread with curry sauce inside of it.  Since Ethan doesn’t really like either of those flavors, he decided to make his plain, and that ended up tasting great too. 🙂

I think we all were impressed by how much effort it took to knead the bread.  The class instructor had us throwing the bread down onto the table, rolling it up with one hand and then throwing it down again — over and over!  He was obviously used to doing this and we were wowed by his abilities.  We were a little bit pathetic, but with some help from the teacher here and there we finally got our dough into the consistency it needed to be.  After that, we put the sweet beans and the curry inside and we were ready to bake it.

We probably won’t be giving away our breade machine in favor of making everything by hand, but it was definitely a fun learning experience.  The kids enjoyed it so much they wanted me to take them again next week for another class!  I don’t think we’ll be able to go again that soon, but I promised we’d put it on the calendar again.  We can’t wait to find out what the next bread flavor will be!

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