Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tri-Coloured Breadsticks

These breadstkcks are made with 3 variations on the same dough - one with butterfly pea flower water, one using the same water with a touch of lemon juice (which transforms it into a beautiful purple) and one using pumpkin in place of some of the water. My niece was in charge of knocking back, rolling out strands are braiding them!

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There's nothing quite like the excitement of getting your hands dirty and creating something delicious from scratch, especially when you're using unique and vibrant ingredients - and you have a couple helpers in the kitchen! These breadsticks were the result of an abundance of pumpkin puree, a lack of fresh bread, and the urge to play with the Selefina Spices butterfly pea flower powder I had. The powder is more than just a way to add a slight floral note to the finished bread - according to my niece it's a magical potion ingredient! Butterfly pea flower powder has amazing color-changing properties when mixed with acid like lemon juice, resulting in a stunning indigo-violet hue. After making "magic" purple lemonade with the 5 and 2 year olds, we decided to make something that was filled with colour.

To set off the blue and violet colours, I grabbed a couple "pucks" of pumpkin that I had frozen from the Cinderella squash I roasted and used it to partially replace some of the water in that third of the dough. Not only did it provide a beautiful colour, but added a little extra nutrition in the form of beta carotene - which sparked a storytime about how I once at so much pumpkin I turned slightly orange because of it (I was an undiagnosed celiac with fat malabsorption and a lot of my "safe foods" contained it).

One of the best parts of having two extra sets of hands on deck - with inquisitive minds controlling them - is that it's an excellent opportunity to help them develop their skills in measurement, fine motor control and counting. Having a background in teaching home economics, I walked them through the process, step-by-step instructions for measuring and combining ingredients, answering their questions (like why we need yeast, how yeast works, and why we need to wait for the dough to rise). My mom took over for the braiding part, but my niece picked up the process quickly and insisted on doing all of them. 

We opted to make 8 long braids, and the leftover dough got the loaf treatment, transforming into this funky, multi-hued bread. It tastes just as good as it looks, and turns everyday sandwiches into something fun!