Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10th, 2009

Blog Managers:

"Dear Families, We hope you pick us up. If you forget we might call you and tell you. We played mooses outside and we had an obstacle course. A very long obstacle course. We baked the bread. The yeast made it rise. The hardest part was kneading it because the bread was thick, thick, thick. It tasted awesome." - Sam R.

"Ms. Katie is a little bit sick. My parents don't know Ms. Katie is sick. We went on a real obstacle course. With real obstacles. The bread was good. It tasted the same as at home. It tasted all squishy and all yummy. And we liked it." -Lilly

Today we finally made our first loaf of bread! It is a basic white bread recipe, with a twist (hardly any rise time!). You can find the recipe we made here.

First, we had to mix yeast with water and sugar. We smelled each ingredient as we baked, and the yeast smell was really different! Some of thought it smelled like dough, some of us thought it smelled like peanut butter. Some of us liked it, some of us didn't.

After we mixed the yeast with water and sugar, we added flour, salt and vinegar. We smelled the vinegar and most of us didn't like the smell. Everyone thought it smelled very strong and some Bakers were surprised we would put "stinky" stuff like vinegar in bread. Some of really liked the smell and tried tasting the vinegar!

We took turns reading the recipe, discussing measurements, and adding ingredients to our bread-in-a-bag. We noticed that 1/2 cup was smaller than 1 cup, and 1 tsp was smaller than 1 tablespoon. We also practiced measuring accurately. When we measured we used our fingers to brush off the excess ingredient to be flush with the measuring cup. It took alot of large and fine motor skills to make sure we were using the right amounts of ingredients and getting each ingredient into the batter!

It took alot of patience to wait while everyone got a turn!

After we added all the ingredients together, we needed to figure out a way to mix it all together. Some of us remembered from the bread books we have been reading to "knead" the bread, or "squish" it together. This was particularly easy since the bread was already in a plastic bag.

Once our dough was mixed together, we had a chance to taste it. Some of us thought it tasted like peanut butter, some of us thought it tasted like gooey bread. Most of us loved the dough!

After we kneaded the dough, we let it rise in the microwave. In this recipe, microwaving the dough helps it rise more quickly.

After baking the bread, we finally got to eat it. We had a huge problem though. There were only one loaf of bread, and 20 of us! We decided that it wasn't fair for only one person to get bread, so we decided to divide the bread. Some Mathematicans suggested that we cut it by length and width. Eventually, we decided to cut the loaf into pieces big enough (about 1/2 inch thick) to fill our bellies and give everyone a taste of the bread.

We were mainly shocked about the size of the bread. Before the bread went into the microwave and oven, it was a small ball. When it came out, it was much bigger! We made hypothesis as to why this was. Some thought it was the heat of the oven, some thought it was the yeast. The Bakers who thought it was the yeast remembered from bread books and baking at home the yeast makes dough rise! We agreed that it was probably both - yeast and heat- that made the bread rise.

We tasted the loaves and thought the crust was crunchy and inside was soft and squishy. It was much crunchier than the dough we tasted earlier. We thought it was much better than the sandwich bread we usually eat! We gave our bread a two thumbs up!

We also had an exciting time moving our bodies outside! The Sharks built an obstacle course, and we got to jump over sticks, crawl through hoops, and jump through tires. This sort of activity encourages us to use all of our big muscles and helps develop strength and balance. It feels so good to exercise! Plus, we had practice waiting in line for our chance on the obstacle course. The whole school wanted a turn!

CAN YOU HELP? Call for baby food jars! We need baby food jars to make butter next week! Does anyone have any we can use? Please bring them in!

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