KINDERGARTEN BREAD

By BETTY PECK, USA
KINDERGARTEN BREAD
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Making Kindergarten Bread is a great activity for families and classrooms; it’s foolproof, and can include all sorts of fun and meaningful stories and songs. Both Betty and her daughter, Anna, baked the bread weekly with their Kindergarten classes. The students got to experience the life cycle of wheat, and a connection to where their nourishment came from. They planted wheat in the spring, harvested and winnowed in the autumn, ground wheat berries for the bread in a hand grinder, and mixed, kneaded, and formed the dough into delightful shapes. Finally, they baked the bread and ate it together. The childrens’ favorite shape was a wheat sheaf with a mouse, so this recipe teaches you how to make bread that way. However, do feel free to experiment with your bread shapes; braids, alphabet letters, and favorite animals were all popular in the Kindergarten.
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, honey and baker’s yeast.
  2. Set aside and allow the yeast to soften and bubble, 5-10 minutes. (Betty and Anna sung a little yeast song with the children, or took them for a short walk to pass this time.)
  3. Add the 5 cups of whole wheat flour (1 cup of this could be freshly ground wheat berries, millet, or barley.) Beat by hand with a wooden spoon for at least 100 strokes. If the dough is not beaten sufficiently, the bread will be heavy.
  4. Stir in 2-3 cups more flour-- just enough to make a stiff but manageable dough.
  5. Sprinkle ½-1 cup of flour over a bread board or other clean surface, and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Sing about kneading as you go!
  6. Separate into small balls, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dough each.
  7. Roll the balls into long strands (each child and adult can do their own). Then cut the strands into the shape of wheat stalks, by making two or three diagonal snips downwards on each side of the top of the dough. To make a sheaf of wheat, place the stalks of wheat next to one another and then on top of one another on a baking sheet. You can wrap place a strand of dough crosswise around the middle to create the bundle effect. For fun, make the shape of small mouse, to put on top.
  8. Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes, and bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 50+ minutes, depending on the size and shape of dough you have formed.
  9. Enjoy together!
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, honey and baker’s yeast.
  2. Set aside and allow the yeast to soften and bubble, 5-10 minutes. (Betty and Anna sung a little yeast song with the children, or took them for a short walk to pass this time.)
  3. Add the 5 cups of whole wheat flour (1 cup of this could be freshly ground wheat berries, millet, or barley.) Beat by hand with a wooden spoon for at least 100 strokes. If the dough is not beaten sufficiently, the bread will be heavy.
  4. Stir in 2-3 cups more flour-- just enough to make a stiff but manageable dough.
  5. Sprinkle ½-1 cup of flour over a bread board or other clean surface, and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Sing about kneading as you go!
  6. Separate into small balls, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dough each.
  7. Roll the balls into long strands (each child and adult can do their own). Then cut the strands into the shape of wheat stalks, by making two or three diagonal snips downwards on each side of the top of the dough. To make a sheaf of wheat, place the stalks of wheat next to one another and then on top of one another on a baking sheet. You can wrap place a strand of dough crosswise around the middle to create the bundle effect. For fun, make the shape of small mouse, to put on top.
  8. Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes, and bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 50+ minutes, depending on the size and shape of dough you have formed.
  9. Enjoy together!

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