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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yeast Bread Activity with Modern Marvels: Bread

Wheat harvest
I like to show Modern Marvels: Bread to my Bakery students because it gives so much historical information on bread that I could never cover.  It also demonstrates sourdough and Challah, which we do not have time to make with our limited class time. 

There is a fine line between teachers using videos to enhance their lesson and using videos to replace their lesson.  As someone who watched Kindergarten Cop in elementary music and Field of Dreams in eighth grade health, I want to be sure that I stay on the right side of the line.

That's why I kept my students busy making bread while learning about bread.  Everything in this recipe is made in a heavy-duty gallon freezer bag which means minimal mess.  It is a good activity for classrooms with no real kitchens.  Bread could be baked in the cafeteria ovens.

If the $20 price tag for a new DVD is too much for your department to handle, I highly suggest using Amazon instant video. This episode of Modern Marvels: Bread cost just $1.99.  Instant video is super handy when you're watching TV and think I wish I had recorded this! This is exactly what my students should know! 

Modern Marvels: Bread


2:45 “First, sugar, yeast, and flour are mixed with water into a one thousand pound ball called a sponge.”

In a one gallon (heavy duty) Ziploc bag, mix:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Close bag and knead it with fingers until the ingredients are completely blended. Leave bag closed and let rest.

9:50 “Across the Kansas State Campus, in the Bakery Science Laboratory, scientists have devised dozens of tests to check the quality of flour.”

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix well.

Add enough flour to make a stiff dough, about 1 or 1-1/2 cups. Close the bag and knead it, adding more flour until dough no longer sticks to the bag. Leave bag closed and let rest.

20:15 “Wheat may be the basis for most bread, but corn is an American specialty.”

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place glass casserole with 4 C water on lowest rack in oven.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Form dough into round ball, tucking seams underneath. Cut slashes in dough as demonstrated with the San Francisco sourdough. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise.

End of episode

Leaving water in place, bake bread on middle oven rack for 30 minutes or until done. Methods used to test doneness in the video include listening for crunch or tapping for a hollow sound.  A sure way is to see that internal temperature is at least 205 F with an instant-read thermometer.

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