And depending on whose turn it was in the group to knead the dough -- because somehow my teacher thought it a good idea to pass the bowl round a class of 20 or so snotty-nosed kids to dip their hands into -- the cries went up and down like some kind of demented musical score.
If you were one of the pretty girls in class that all the boys had a secret crush on, you got off lightly with a blank stare, maybe one or two half-hearted heckles from those who still preferred toy cars to girls. Otherwise, you got the unforgiving: 'iyama! where have your hands been!?'
The good news is that you only need YOUR hands to make this recipe, and I trust that you'll give them a good scrub before you get started. My healthy, oven-baked adaptation of this popular snack is sweet, crunchy and delightful. You'll be proud to share these round.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 cup almond milk
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients.
Add the sunflower oil and a little bit of the almond milk and mix with a wooden spoon. Start to add the almond milk a little at a time until you have a firm dough. You don't want it to be too sticky, otherwise it will be hard to roll out. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes then wrap it in some cling film and refrigerate for 20-30 mins.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out until it is about 1 cm thick.
Cut the dough into strips and then little squares.
Place the squares on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper. It's a bit fiddly, but it'll be worth it in the end. Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 5, for 10 minutes until golden brown. You may wish to turn them over half-way through to get a more even colour.