Cookbook author and macrobiotic practitioner Wendy Esko makes bread without using commercial yeast. She uses natural leavening in the form of a sourdough starter or no leavening at all; she claims that unleavened bread dough will rise on its own if placed in a warm place for 8-12 hours.
But when she lets her children help her make bread, she says, it never fails to turn out well. When the children help, “they are so happy and really put a lot of happiness into the bread,” she says. Maybe you should try putting some happiness into your bread, too!
Letting your children help you with bread making is enjoyable and fulfilling. Here are some things to look forward to when you bake bread with your children, as well as some ideas on how to make it an even better experience.
- Science and Math Lessons
Baking bread with your children can be a fun, hands-on way to teach them about the principles of leavening, the mathematics of measurements, and, depending on the age and interest level of your children, the chemical changes that occur when dough is kneaded and baked.
It’s so important to spend time with your kids. Baking bread is a chance for everyone to gather in the kitchen and talk with each other. Give each child a job to do so he or she can participate in the process, pointing out the importance of everyone’s role in the family. A lot of good lessons can be taught in the kitchen.
If you have trouble getting your kids to eat healthy bread (perhaps they prefer the squeezable white stuff from the store), try making a whole grain loaf with your children. They will be much more likely to eat bread they have helped to make, and that they are proud of.
Don’t forget the creation of memories. Warm, positive childhood recollections can provide retreat and solace in the adult years. These kinds of memories are a priceless gift you can give to your children.
The baking of bread with the children can become a family tradition. Your children can then pass the tradition on when they start families of their own.
- Don’t Limit Yourself
The traditional kneaded loaf is not the only way to go. Get creative with your children and bake big, soft pretzels or flat breads. Make braided loaves, rolls, or pull-apart “monkey bread.” You can make sweet breads, quick breads, cornbread, or sourdough breads. Let your children come up with some ideas, too.