Children’s birthday party special…. piggy rolls

If hosting a children’s party brings you out in a nervous rash then let us be your Calamine lotion, because this month we have four party recipes guaranteed to bring a smile on the face of little people whilst not leaving you on the floor.

The first is these sweet little piggy rolls. They are a fabulous centrepiece and easy enough for little people to make too. 

Put a plate of these on your party table and there will be lots of ooohhing and ahhhing. Serve with plates of ham and cucumber and cheese and children can make their own rolls, leaving you to get surreptitiously stuck in to the hula hoops.

If you want to take things up a notch then with the – clean! – palm of your hand squash those little meatballs (available in most supermarkets) in to the shape of burgers, fry and serve in the rolls with ketchup. If you were feeling really fancy you could do pulled pork to continue the piggy theme, but chances are if you have lots of little people coming over, you will want to keep it as simple as possible.

So in our birthday party special, over the next few weeks, we have recipes and videos for sprinkle saucer biscuits, Claire’s failsafe chocolate birthday cake, pimped up rice crispy cakes and fruit kebabs, just so you can pretend to other parents that you care about their children’s vitamin C intake.

If that is still not enough, then  here is a chapter on children’s parties in our cookbook – (available here!) – including my fabulous –even if I do say so myself – fairy castle showstopper!

Makes about 20 depending on the size of your pigs

Takes: 15m to make dough, 15m to sculpt your piggies, 60m + 30m proving time

For the dough

600g plain flour

1 sachet instant yeast

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

375 full fat milk

25g butter

For the decorations

Beaten egg

poppy or chia seeds or cloves

In a mixing bowl add the yeast, salt and sugar to the flour and mix. Put the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter is melted. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a spoon until you have a rough dough. Either with your hands (or a dough hook on a freestanding mixer if you have one) knead until smooth and bouncy. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow the dough to rise – in about an hour it should have doubled in size.

Grease a couple of baking sheets.

Punch the dough to knock the air out and knead on to a floured surface. Take a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball and put to one side. Shape pieces of dough into golfball sized balls. Place on the baking sheet as you go but space them apart – you don’t want them to touch as they will spread on baking. With the reserved dough fashion out piggy tails, ears and snouts. Using a pastry brush and the beaten egg – glue them on. Insert poppy or chia seeds or cloves where you want your piggy eyes. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise again for about 30m. Glaze with the remaining beaten egg. Pop in a 220c oven and bake until golden brown. These are best eaten on the same day.

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