Our daily bread is fundamental to our sustenance and well-being. While our
culture is not as emotionally dependent upon freshly baked bread as some,
there's a reason that bread machines are increasingly popular. The aroma
of freshly baked bread is seductive and even addictive. Once you get the
knack of it, you'll want to do it again and again -- together.
homemade bread is a multi-sensory activity that is enjoyable for all ages
(that means you too, Grandma!) In fact, many pre-school and Kindergarten
curriculums utilize bread-making because it provides such a wonderfully
tactile experience that culminates in a delicious, nutritious snack.
Below are some family activities involving bread and similar doughs along
with some proven family-friendly recipes from the book, Cooking
Time Is Family Time.
Please note that an adult should always be present during cooking time.
How does bread rise? Help kids understand by doing this simple
experiment. First, explain that yeast is a naturally-occuring, microscopic
organism that is alive! And just like kids, it needs food, water and a
warm enviroment to live. When dry yeast is 'fed' warm water, it 'activates'
or wakes up. Then, as it digests the food, it gives off gas. Since wheat
is the type of grain that has the most gluten (a substance that allows
it to stretch), yeast is added to bread dough made from wheat flour to
make the bread rise
each of the tiny holes in bread that puff it up are made from the gas
created by the yeast and the dough stretching to absorb the gas bubble!
Have the kids pour the contents of the yeast packet, the sugar and a half
cup of water (105-115° F) into the jar. Then, stretch the end of the
balloon over the rim of the bottle. In about 15-30 minutes, the gas from
the yeast will begin to inflate the balloon.
clean wine bottle
package of dry yeast
BREAD MODELING DOUGH
Making bread dough for sculpting and shaping offers a fun activity that
can easily be turned into Christmas Tree ornaments; name plaques for doors,
you are only limited by your creativity! Here is a recipe for a basic
modeling dough that can be made into shapes or figures, braided and rolled
into wreaths. After baking they can be painted and varnished for beautiful,
home-made gifts for the holidays.
Have the children meaure the 4 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt into a mixing
bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups of water. Help the children to mix with their hands
into a very stiff dough. Place on a floured cutting board or counter top
and knead for 5 minutes. Now you can mold or roll into 1/4" thickness and
cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw to make holes for ribbons
to hang if you are making ornaments. Bake for 1 hour at 350°. When cool
, you can all paint and decorate. Parents should apply the spray varnish
(available at art supply stores) so they stay stiff and will not spoil or
get soft. Dough must be used within 4 hours of making it!
paints and spray varnish
Check out other
recipes that bring the whole family together:
Cooking Time is Family Time: Cooking Together,
Eating Together, and Spending Time Together
by Lynn Fredericks, William Morrow & Co., August, 1999
COOKING TIME IS FAMILY TIME, Lynn Fredericks shows people how they
can improve the time they spend with kids by inviting them into
the kitchen to help prepare meals.
Included are 125 recipes emphasizing a variety of fresh, healthful
ingredients and strategies to get kids to gobble them down. Each
recipe offers directions that specify which steps are right for
younger kids and which are more challenging for their older siblings.