You will need for the bread:
A glass or plastic bowl. No metal.
1 and 1/4 c. warm water-about 110 degrees
2 and 1/4 tsp. of yeast or 1 package
3 tbs. of oil (I use Olive Oil)
1 Tbs. of honey
1/4 c. of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
4-5 cups of flour
For the glaze:
1 c. confectioner's flour
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. of vanilla or any flavor you want. If you don't have any, plain is good too.
In a glass bowl or cup, put in a 1/4 cup of very warm water. You want it at least 110 degrees to activate the yeast. Very important. Add with the water, the honey and then the yeast. Give it a little stir to get it all mixed together, but be gentle with it.
Now let it rise for about 10 minutes. Don't mess with it. While you are waiting get out your bowl and put all of your other ingredients together.
The yeast will be done by that time.
I like to start with 4 cups of flour. You can always add more if it's too sticky
but you can't take it out if it's too much.
I like a really cinnamony flavor so add as much or as little as you want.
Okay, now the yeast is ready.
Pour it over your other ingredients and then add another full cup of warm water.
Make sure it's the right temp!
I start it off with a stir or two.
Then I get my hands in there-clean of course!
I knead the dough around. Yes, I have a bread mixer. Why don't I use it? I don't know. But you certainly could. It works great. I don't know what my problem is!
I just keep working it. Folding it over, pushing it down
and repeat till a ball starts to form.
A nice ball will form in no time. It should be a little sticky to the touch but not so sticky that it's making it unbearable to work with. If it is too sticky just sprinkle a little flour over it and work it in. Repeat until it is just a little sticky.
Now cover with a dish towel and let it stand
in a warm area or at least an area with no draft.
Let it stand about an hour and a half. Don't rush it!!!
It will rise to be double it's size or more. The more the better.
If and I mean if, for some reason it doesn't rise that well your water was probably not warm enough. Water temp is very important.
Now punch it down. Just stick your fingers in it all the way down to the bottom. Then work it away from the sides into a nice ball again. Don't work it too much.
Now to make the snowmen. Just break off the size ball that you want. You'll want a small, medium, and large. You can make big snowmen or small snowmen.
Your choice. If your dough happens to be too powdery just stick your finger in warm water and dab on the end you want to stick to something. That should do the trick. Once it rises it's all going to mesh together anyway so don't worry.
Just stick'm together. You should assemble them right on
your pan that you will be baking on. Spray your pan or use a Silpat mat.
You don't want them sticking.
You will not be able to move them once they have risen.
Once, all snowmen are assembled cover them with a dish towel.
Let them stand for at least a half hour to an hour.
Covered in a draft free palce.
Once they have risen, bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.
They should be a nice golden brown.
After they come out of the oven, let them stand for a couple minutes. Then, remove them to wax paper where you can put the finishing touches on them.
You're going to want to make a nice glaze for them. I use a cup of confectioner's sugar an egg white and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Mix together.
Put it over the snowmen. Then you can add raisins for the eyes and buttons, mini chocolate chips or whatever you have on hand.
We also made some cinnamon snowballs. You could make just a whole batch
of those if you don't have time to do all the snowmen.
They taste like cinnamon glazed donuts. Yummy!
If you want to keep them fresh but want to make them ahead of time for another day, I suggest you freeze them undecorated. They will start to lose their freshness after the first day since there are no preservatives in them to keep them fresh. So pop them right into a freezer bag after they have cooled down. Take them out the day want to serve them, thaw and then decorate.
Now go cozy up, munch on your freshly baked snowman bread and read this really cute rhyming story about what happens to snowmen at night!
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner