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Friday, September 23

Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)

Recently, our home school group was selected to take part in the King Arthur Flour Bake for Good program - and we had a fabulous time!!!!!  For over twenty years, the Bake for Good Kids Program has been helping kids learn to bake and then share their homework with those in need.  In some cases, the company travels to a location to host an event, but we were provided all of the supplies and hosted the event through the home school group.
Imagine my husband's surprise when sixty pounds of flour and several other boxes of supplies arrived on the doorstep one afternoon!  The company provided ingredients, packaging, course booklets for the kids, and an instructional DVD.  The program is designed to teach kids in grades 4-7 how science, math, and reading all come together in a real-world activity.  The culmination of the project is a lesson in philanthropy, when they donate their efforts to a local charity.

The day before the BIG DAY, another home school neighbor and I got together and baked up a batch of practice bread.  We wanted to know exactly what we'd gotten ourselves into....how long would it take?  Were there any extra supplies we needed?  What snags were we going to run into?  All the little things that you want to be apprised of before entering a room with lots of kids and open sacks of flour!  We practiced with our boys, to see how well the kids would do with the project.
We walked through the four hour process (which took more like six, that first day), from mixing the yeast, to letting it rise, to the baking process.  My friend and I found some science handouts that explained how yeast works, as well as some science experiments that you can do with yeast.  Then, seeing as how it was supposed to rain cats & dogs on baking day, we found a video about the process to help occupy the kids during the downtime.
Baking day came, and everyone arrived on time (yay!), excited to start the process.  Given the size of the oven, some of the moms had started a batch early.  This would allow us to bake two batches of bread and minimize the downtime for rising.  We were missing a few kids, thanks to illness and the weather, but that meant that everyone got to have several hands-on jobs!
As a group, we branched out with the recipes, making yeast rolls and the most delicious cinnamon rolls!!!  They enjoyed sampling some of the bread that was fresh from the oven.  Yum!
The following morning, we bagged up the bread and drove it up to Community Market, a food "store" that helps needy families in the area.  They were very happy to see us, and many loaves of bread were delivered to locals in need within a matter of hours.  Overall, it was a win-win event!
Want to learn the basics of bread making?  It's easy!

Ingredients :

Directions :
  1. A lot of the families at the event had only ever used a bread-maker.  While they are a great kitchen tool and very handy, they are not suitable for this particular recipe.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, yeast, whole wheat flour, and warm water.  Cover with towel and let rest until bubbly.
  3. Stir in cooking oil and salt.
  4. Stir in 3 cups white flour, one cup at a time.  Measure out one more cup of flour and sprinkle half of that onto the sticky dough.  Work into dough.
  5. Flour hands and turn dough onto floured surface.  Knead well.  While it is resting, wipe oil onto inside of bowl.
  6. Knead a little bit more, then put the dough back into the bowl and cover.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour and a half.
  7. Punch down down.  Divide into half and form into loaves or rolls.
  8. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet, and cover with a towel.  Let rise again for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375.
  10. Remove covering, slash tops of loaves, and bake 30 minutes.  Let cool, and enjoy!
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