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Make Bread Dough



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Make Bread Dough

Materials Needed
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Baking yeast
  • Bowl
  • Large spoon

Optional

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Cookie sheet

One of the most basic foods throughout the world is bread. It has been made for thousands of years from three simple ingredients.

This project involves making bread dough. You can let it rise and then play with the dough, or you can have a grown-up put it in the oven and bake it for you. Either way, it is fun to do.

In this experiment we are going to make bread dough and watch it rise. If you are going to cook your dough, you can split the dough into more than one loaf. Then try adding an extra ingredient to each loaf and then compare the taste of the different recipes.

  1. Dissolve a package of powdered yeast into one cup of warm water.

  2. Pour one cup of flour into a mixing bowl.

  3. Add a little water and stir with the spoon.
    The mixture should wet all of the flour and it will form one big ball. If the mixture is runny, add a few pinches of flour and mix until the dough becomes stiff. If all the flour is not wet or it won't form one ball, add a few drops of water and stir.

  4. Eventually a dough ball will form and it will become too hard to stir. Now it is ready for kneading.

  5. Kneading involves squeezing, stretching and folding the dough over and over again until it becomes smooth and stretchy. Kneading the dough helps to mix the ingredients and it helps the formation of gluten. Gluten makes the dough stretchy or elastic. This is important for the texture of bread, otherwise it would would be dense and hard to eat.

  6. Once the dough has formed a smooth stretchy ball, place in in the bowl and let it sit. Come look at it again every 30 minutes or so for the next 90 minutes. It will grow, and grow and grow. This is called rising the dough.

Once the dough has risen, you can play with it and smash it back into a small ball of dough. You will see that it has filled with lots of little bubbles. This is carbon dioxide gas that forms with the yeast reacts with the sugars in the bread. Those little bubbles are what cause all the little holes you see in a slice of bread.

If you want to cook the bread, have a grown up place the dough ball on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven, heated to 350 degrees (F) until it is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

As a further experiment, try mixing more than one batch. Add a a tablespoon of sugar to one batch. Add a half teaspoon of salt to another batch. Replace the water with milk for another batch. Compare how each loaf looks and tastes.


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