Remember the time your child made something else instead of a lovely little animal when he was baking? When he didn’t want to make the traditional plaited hedgehog that mum or dad had so carefully planned?
My son made a games console instead of an animal. “That’ll be unrecognizable after it’s been baked,” you think to yourself. But you try not to interfere, which is as it should be. That’s what expert Lilly Wisler says, alluding to the golden rule for getting children enthused about baking: “First and foremost, you should leave them to it.” Wisler is Head of Baked Goods Production for Tanja Grandits’ shop at Stucki in Basel. And she also runs children’s baking courses for V-ZUG.
During her course, the youngsters spend an afternoon experimenting with dough – some meticulously following instructions, and others more freely, like my son. Wisler has already baked a lot with children previously, in her family, for example, where her mother often worked as a childminder. And yes, she knows that not all children are equally enthusiastic when it comes to dough and ovens. But if you want to spark enthusiasm for baking nevertheless, this can be achieved via creativity. That means not setting adult standards for loveliness as a benchmark. “The result is always a work of art,” says Lilly Wisler.
What else does she watch out for when baking with children? “You need to keep them all occupied,” she says. That means she prefers to prepare the dough beforehand for groups, so the boys and girls can make their plaited animals – or their imaginative creations – all together. If there are only one or two children in the kitchen, says Wisler, it’s all right to prepare the dough together.
Incidentally, for my son, who is not an enthusiastic baker at home, other children are the highlight when it comes to baking. In a group, he really gets stuck in with the dough and also enjoys the edible result. That’s another reason why a children’s baking course like the one V-ZUG offers is a brilliant place for him, where he can immerse himself in a world of dough and icing sugar.
Information about the next cooking courses for children by V-ZUG: