Monday, November 16, 2015

Montessori Bread Recipe

I remember reading an article one time that was written by a mother who was committed to teaching her teenage son how to cook and do laundry before he went off to college. While I wholeheartedly agree that young adults should be prepared to take care of themselves, I believe that teaching independence, self care, and care of others should start much, much younger. In the Montessori tradition, these "Practice Life" activities start around 18 months of age. 

Children learn so much from engaging in Practical Life activities. They build their focus and concentration, strengthen their fine- and gross-motor skills, learn how to hold multi-step directions in their heads, and--most importantly--build a deep, internal sense of confidence that is attached to their own sense of competence.

Henry was so proud of making a loaf of bread from scratch. And it was delicious! We used Kylie's recipe from the book we co-authored called Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes That Build Independence and Confidence the Montessori Way. What a brilliant recipe, Kylie! It was so easy and delicious. Henry is learning how to follow the recipes by looking at the pictures. 

  • 1.5 c of warm water
  • 1.5 T dried yeast
  • 4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1.5 t salt
  • Add yeast and honey to warm water
  • Mix to dissolve and set aside
  • Measure and add flour to bowl
  • Add salt to bowl
  • Mix
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl
  • Add oil
  • Add warm water, honey, and yeast mixture to bowl
  • Mix well until the dough forms a ball
  • Flour the counter (or work surface)
  • Place dough on floured surface and knead for approximately five minutes
  • Add dough to bowl
  • Cover bowl with a warm towel and leave in a warm place
  • Set timer for 20 minutes and check dough until it has doubled in size
  • Remove risen dough from bowl and briefly knead the dough
  • Shape the dough into a loaf
  • Place the dough on a baking tray
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Allow to cool and serve

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