Homemade oat buns – baking with a toddler

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Homemade buns have become a stable in our household. There’s just something so very satisfying about baking. The feel, the smell and of course the taste of the baked goods makes it worth the time and effort (unless you haven’t slept for three nights straight). Nothing tastes better than home baking – or cooking for that matter.

Eva has been quite the helper ever since she started being able to sit on the counter and pour ingredients into a bowl, and recently she has gotten even more eager. She’ll come running from the other end of the apartment as fast as she can if she figures that one of us is getting ready to cook or bake. That eagerness is actually why I’ve started making these homemade oat buns. Before that I usually made these slow risen wholemeal buns with oates. They are super easy to make and don’t require any kneading, but they do need to rise in the fridge for at least 12 hours, so when you want buns today, it’s not the recipe to go for. With this recipe Eva gets the buns a few hours later, and she gets to both add the ingredients aswell as help knead the dough and shape the buns. She has so much fun helping with all of the steps that we’ve already made it several times.

Having a very eager toddler help in the kitchen is however not necessarily the same as having a very productive contributor in the kitchen and you might as well expect a mess and that the end result won’t look anything like something out of a cook book. Some of the flour will end up on the floor, some of the dough in the hair and some (if not all) of the buns will be more or less misshapen. But that’s just part of charm of baking with a toddler and if you can overlook the mess and refrain from expecting perfection, you should definitely invite your toddler to make these buns with you.

Just one little simple tip: When your toddler is helping you in the kitchen remember to make it a part of the ritual to wash their hands with them. It’s a good habit to get into and who knows where those hands have been.

You’ll need:

  • 50 grams (1,8 ounces) yeast
  • 0,5 liter (2,1 cup) water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 0,5 dl (0,2 cup oil) oil
  • 250 grams (about 0,55 pound) rolled oates
  • 50 grams (1,8 ounces) nuts and seeds of your choice (this time I used poppy seeds and sesame seeds – and I also added a bit of wheat germ)
  • 100 grams (3,6 ounces) wholemeal flour (I used wholewheat flour this time around)
  • 250-300 grams (0,55-0,66 pound) white flour
  • Optional: 1 grated carrots
  • Optional: a toddler eager to help

The buns can easily be frozen .

How to:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Use luke warm water.

2. Add the salt, oil and oates to the liquid and mix well. I like to let it sit for a few minutes before doing anything further, making it get a oatmeal like texture.

3. Add the nuts and seeds and the wholemeal flour. If you want to add carrots to the buns, this would be a good time to do it.

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4. Add the white flour until the dough has a firm consistensy and doesn’t stick to the sides. The dough should not be dry, so be careful of how much flour you use.

5. Knead the dough and let it raise for 30 minutes in a warm(-ish) place. You can do it in the bowl or on the table. I like to do it on the table. Eva just likes to knead whenever she gets a change.

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6. Knead the dough again and shape into buns. I got 12 out of this portion.

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7. Raise the buns in a warm(-ish) place for about 30 minutes. Don’t cover the buns as it will prevent the buns from raising properly.

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8. Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius (about 400 degress Fahrenheit). The buns are ready when they start to get golden on top and when they sound hollow when knocking on the bottom of them.

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9. Now just let them cool down a bit and enjoy!

I love how some of the buns, which Eva spend a lot of time on, ended up looking. She did her best to imitate the way I shaped the buns, and I’m actually amazed that most of the buns ended up more round than any other shape. Sure they have a few dents and artistic corners, but they all tasted wonderful.

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