To make 6-8 hedgehogs, you will need:
- 270g white bread flour (and extra in case the mixture gets gloopy!)
- 1/2 level tsp ground mixed spice
- Pinch of salt
- 25g butter, nice and cold
- 7g pack Easy Bake yeast
- 65g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- Dried fruit for the eyes and nose
Then do this:
- Lightly grease a baking tray and heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7
- Sift together the flour, spices and salt
- Rub in the butter using your fingers (wash your hands with cold water first, it makes it easier to make a breadcrumb consistency)
- Stir in the yeast and 55g of the sugar
- Add the egg and milk to the flour and mix with your hands (this is the sticky part – children love it!)
- Generously dust the worktop and knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it stretches and you can see light through it
- Cut into 6-8 even-size balls and shape into hedgehogs, then use scissors to snip some spikes
- Use the dried fruit to make eyes and a nose; press them in well
- Pop onto a radiator under a piece of cling film, they should grow by about half their size again
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until nice and golden
- Melt the remaining sugar with a splash of milk and brush over to make your hedgehogs shiny
- Wait for them to cool, and then eat!
Top Tip… not a cinnamon fan? Why not replace the mixed spice with lemon juice and zest, for zingy citrus hedgehogs? Or cocoa for a chocolate treat? Coconut will give them a tropical twist. Try experimenting with your own favourite flavours!
Handy Hedgehog Facts:
- They love munching on snails, slugs, beetles and worms
- They’re called hedgehogs because they spend their evenings foraging around tree roots in search of juicy bugs and make little grunting noises in the process.
- They’re nocturnal, choosing to snooze for the majority of the day
- Hedgehogs have very poor eyesight and hunt using their super-powered senses of hearing and smell
- They have a soft, furry tummy, which they protect when they roll themselves into a ball, by surrounding themselves with their spikes
- And talking of spikes, they have over 5000! Each one drops out after a year, and a new one grows in it’s place.
- If you’re lucky enough to get close to a hedgehog, you’ll probably see one of the 500 fleas that regularly hitch a ride
- A Mother hedgehog can have up to eleven babies in one litter but after just a month, they will all go their separate ways
- When the babies are born, their spikes are soft
- Don’t ever feed a spiky little friend with bread and milk, it can make them so poorly, they die! Instead, give them a little cat or dog food (but no fishy flavours please!)
With thanks to Hannah Leaning and her children for writing this blog post.