My 9-year-old's Bread Baking Experiment
Feb. 23, 2013 1:39 pm
Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 6:02 am
"Mom, can I do an experiment in the kitchen?" It's my 9-year-old son, Jared, asking
again if he can mix up a little this and a little that and see if it makes something. I've been letting him do this for a few years now. When he was younger, he mainly mixed flour, salt and sugar together into a soupy mess that he liked to play with.
Eventually I started letting him bake or cook his creations. Then I came up with the rule that if he was going to make it, he had to eat some of it. He became more serious about these experiments after that. He has made a type of rice pudding that he called
"Porridge for the Three Bears" and he has made many attempts at chocolate chip cookies. Early on they tasted like biscuits, but his last attempt was very close.
Last week I was making bread, so when he asked if he could do one of his kitchen experiments, I suggested he make a loaf of bread. I like to make dough in my bread machine and then bake it in the oven. That's what he decided to do too. He decided to come up
with his own bread creation. Since I didn't feel like wasting ingredients for a whole loaf of bread, I gave him guidelines as to what you need to make a successful loaf in our bread machine: 3-4 cups of flour, 3/4 - 1 1/2 cups liquid, butter or oil, etc.
He chose all the actual ingrendients and amounts and measured them himself. Here is what he came up with. (He almost chose grape juice as the liquid, but then he changed his mind at the last minute. Maybe that's an experiment for another day!)
Jared's Whole Wheat Sugar Bread
1 cups warm milk
1/4 cup of butter
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla (He's used to adding this to chocolate chip cookies, so he wanted to try it.)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
dash of salt
2 1/2 tsp yeast
We baked it at 350 for 30 minutes.
The bread baking experiment was a complete success! I was very proud of him-- he took time to think about what ingredients he wanted and was careful about measuring correctly. It tasted great. I thought it was a bit sweet, but everyone loved it...
except for Jared that is. He said it was too "doughy." (We are always our own worst critics!) I explained that all that milk, butter and egg made for a very soft bread. He's ready to try again with different ingredients
and see how that changes the outcome. And I can't wait to see what his next "experiment" will be.
Jared getting the dough ready in the bread maker.
Getting the dough ball just right.
The dough rising.
Fresh out of the oven.
Looks like a nice loaf!
A very soft, moist, slightly dense bread.
Getting a slice.
Tasting his creation.