Baking Bread With Kids

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We are easing back into school after a lazy Christmas break. I had high hopes for Christmas break, but we stuck to focusing on getting the basics done and that was more than enough for all of us.

One of our goals, over the next little while, is to make “school” less like “school” and evolve into a more “everything is a learning experience” kind of homeschool. We started out that way, but somewhere along the way the air went out of our balloon and our learning has been kind of boring.

I want to inspire young minds, not simply fill them.

So today I had this brilliant idea that the kids would help me bake bread. I searched around My Pinterest for a quick and easy bread recipe (my bread board on Pinterest) that would work. I found one and adapted it to suit our needs.

Bread making and baking are two of those things that I have put aside (even though I love them) since I have not been well for the past several months. Today we braved the fear of messes and decided to do most of the work at the coffee table (after it had been given a good scrub) so mommy could just sit.

Gathering Ingredients

The kids gathered all the ingredients – yeast, sugar, oil, flour, salt, and hot water (as needed) – and brought it to the coffee table.

Equipment

We gathered all of our bowls, but when we went to gather our measuring cups and spoons we discovered that we didn’t have many. We only had a tbsp, 1/4 cup, 2/3 cup, and a glass measuring cup.

So, in comes the MATH.

Wahoo.

Okay, we need 2 1/2 cups of flour, how are we going to make that using the measuring cups we have? (you can see my chicken scratches on the recipe).

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We mixed the yeast, sugar, oil, and warm water and let it proof. Then we talked about it. We watched it bubble and grow.

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Sifting Flour Is Hard Work

We tried out the new flour sifter that I got for Christmas. The three youngest didn’t have strong enough hand muscles to work very long, but Moses and I toughed it out through 5 batches of dough. (3 loaves of bread, 1 batch of pizza pretzels, 1 batch of cinnamon buns).

Sifting the flour (together with the salt) made for a lighter bread and our hands felt the hard work.

Speaking of Hard Work (and Patience)

We learned a lot about hard work and patience today.

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Not running to the store to get bread, was a lesson in patience.

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Having to bake three separate batches of this bread to get enough bread for lunch, was a lesson in patience.

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Waiting for bread to bake….

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The bread tasted SO good, simply because we made it ourselves.

Can you believe it took us all day to make 3 loaves of bread (by hand), 1 batch of pizza pretzel dough (to be baked tonight at bedtime), 1 batch of cinnamon bun dough (to be baked for breakfast tomorrow morning), and enough pizza dough for 4 large pizzas for dinner. Phew!

We had a good day. We worked together. We learned to take turns, We helped each other. We practiced listening. And we got to reap the benefits of our hard work.

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This recipe can also be altered to create pizza pretzels, cinnamon buns, and pizza dough, but those will have to wait for another post/s.

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