Creating With Bread Dough (like play dough for older kids!)

My daughter still loves playing with play dough and she’s 10! I don’t make it for her very often any more but today I had a brilliant idea! I could make some bread dough for her to “play with”. This way she’d have an outlet for her creativity and I’d be organised for tomorrow’s school lunches…it’s a win-win!!! Sometimes I even amaze myself!

I used my thermomix but I’ve also included an alternative recipe if you don’t own one. It will just take longer to knead, which means more play time ;). Or you can use Kelly’s easy bread roll recipe you can find here.

Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture

Thermomix Bread Dough


100 grams wheat grain

300 grams water

2 teaspoons dried instant yeast

20 grams olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

400 grams plain white flour

1 egg lightly beaten plus sesame seeds and poppy seeds to sprinkle


1. Place wheat into mixing bowl and mill 1 min on speed 9. Set aside. Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture 2. Place water, yeast and sugar into bowl and heat 1 minutes on 37 degrees, speed 1. Wait a couple of minutes till it starts to foam. 3. Add oil, salt, flour and wheat and mix on speed 6 for 6 seconds. 4. Lock Lid and knead for 3 minutes.

5. Transfer dough onto ThermoMat or floured bench and work into a ball. Wrap in ThermoMat or place into a bowl and cover with damp tea towel. Put in a warm place (30 degrees) for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Knock down dough and cut into 12 equal balls.

7. It’s time to play! Let your child’s imagination run wild! My daughter made a bow tie, funny faces, a braid, a rainbow and a crown. Place on trays lined with baking paper and brush with lightly beaten egg yolks. Then decorate with seeds (the egg wash helps them stick).

Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture Thermomix Bread Dough Mixture

Cooking Instructions

8. Once the shapes are finished, sit in a warm place for a further 20 minutes to rise.

9.  Then bake in a 200°C oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Non-Thermomix Bread Dough

If you don’t have a Thermomix, use this recipe!


500g plain flour

2 teaspoons dried yeast

1 teaspoon salt

375 mls lukewarm water

Egg wash, for brushing

Sesame and poppy seeds, for sprinkling


1. Place the plain flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the water to the dry ingredients. The water needs to be lukewarm (not too hot or cold) to activate the yeast.

2. Use a wooden spoon to combine and then use hands to bring it all together into a ball.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The best way to knead is to use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you and then lift it with your fingertips and fold it over itself towards you. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. You can tell when the dough has been kneaded enough by pressing your finger into the surface of the dough – if it springs back, it has been kneaded sufficiently. You may need to help your child with this step.

4. Shape the dough into a ball. Brush a large bowl with the melted butter to grease. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it over to lightly coat the dough surface with the butter. This will stop the surface of the dough drying out as it stands, which can affect the rising process. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and then place it in a warm (30 degree), draught-free place to allow the dough to rise.

5. Divide into 12 equal sized balls and have some fun! Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Make sure the rolls are far enough apart on the tray to rise. 

6. Follow the cooking instruction above at Step 8.

Enjoy warm with butter and honey!

Shape Ideas

It’s fun to see how they will turn out. Here are some of our attempts:

bread shapes for the lunch box

Simple shapes work best. Here are some ideas:

  • Snake
  • Fish
  • Octopus
  • Letters
  • Braid
  • Pig
  • Bunny with ears
  • A hand
  • Rainbow shape
  • Circle shape (so it looks like a bagel)

Octopus bread shape

Bread shapes for the lunch box

bread shapes for the lunch box

Lunch Box

  • Bread roll shapes work especially well!
  • J Bread shape
  • Yoghurt covered cranberries
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Blueberry muffin

Bread shapes for the lunch box


How to set up a Play Baking Experiment for kids

10 Activities for Tweens

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  • Reply
    Kelly Be A Fun Mum
    October 25, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I’m making some today. Thank Bernie.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Great Kell! I wonder what amazing creations your kids will make!?

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