Baker's Dough Ornaments
Mix 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt together; add 1 cup water, a little at a time. Knead 7-10 minutes until dough is smooth. If dough is still a little sticky, add more flour during kneading process. Store in a plastic bag until used.
- Don’t use self-rising flour. (Unless you want puffy ornaments!)
- Dough can be stored in the refrigerator a few days but it is easiest to work with if you make it just before use.
- Make your ornaments right on a cookie sheet — they are not easily moved without damage. You may want to line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
- If you use a mold, wipe inner surfaces with a light coat of cooking oil before pressing in the dough.
- To join two pieces of dough together, moisten both edges with tap water and press together.
- Cookie cutter ornaments: Roll out dough on floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes. Transfer to cookie sheet and add trim with more dough. You can also cut out a shape from cardboard and cut around it if you don’t have cookie cutters of the shape you want.
- Molds: Candy and cookie molds make nice ornaments. Oil inside of mold and press dough in firmly. Oil should help prevent sticking. Unmold on cookie sheet.
- Free-form ornaments: Begin with basic shape — i.e. head for a Santa’s face ornament; add trim — in Santa’s case this would be the hat, eyes, eyebrows, mustache, beard (use garlic press), etc. Use water very sparingly in connecting trim. Usually parts can be connected by pinching firmly. If pieces don’t join easily then dough is probably too dry. For Christmas tree ornaments, keep objects small enough to be hung without weighing down tree branches.
- Tools to use in shaping: Tooth picks, clay tools, forks, skewers, nails, garlic press — just about anything! Check your kitchen utensils and your children’s toys for interesting baker’s dough tools.
CAUTION: Always supervise children working with sharp or pointed objects. And, be sure children understand that baker’s dough is not for tasting! Because the dough looks a lot like cookie dough, little ones may be tempted to nibble a bit.
Add a little cornstarch in place of flour when you use this process. It helps the dough maintain color while baking. You can use either food coloring or tube water color paints to dye the dough. Mix up several colors for more fun. Knead the color into the dough until it is evenly mixed. Dye the colors slightly deeper than you want the finished product because the color will fade some when baked. These ornaments are “finished” when they come out of the oven, requiring only a coat of shellac to preserve. Pre-coloring ornaments is a good technique to use with very young children (who may find painting frustrating).
To make hanging ornaments, make a hole in the top of ornaments before baking!
Baking time and temperature are determined by the thickness of the finished object. Thin objects bake at 150-200°F; thicker objects at 250-350°F. Watch thin objects carefully. If they start browning too fast, reduce oven temperature.
Reprinted with the permission of BANANAS, Inc. © 2007 BANANAS
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