montessori bread work

 

For the last four years I have always had some variation of bread making as a work in my class. Some years I have started the work as early as October, other years I have waited until spring. It usually depends not only on the children, but also on my level of motivation. This year we are starting post spring break and we will use the rolls that we make for food prep – spreading either butter or peanut butter.

Montessori Bread Work

Bread Work

I usually prepare two trays so that the work can be done twice during the morning. After the first child has finished I give the table a good spray and scrape and when the second child is done, I encourage him to scrub the table, or I find a willing volunteer.

While I usually stay away for group presentations, I do always show this lesson at group the day before it is available, then when the child does the work for the first time, I am able to give simple reminders as they work through the steps. I also try to make sure that everyone has had the opportunity to try the work before start repeating it.

Materials:

(I have two matching sets)

  • Large Tray
  • Liquid measuring cup (filled with ¼ cup of warm water – 30 seconds in the microwave)
  • 2 small bowls (one with 1 Tbs of honey, one with 1 Tbs of oil)
  • 1 small container (3/4 tsp of yeast)
  • 1 large container (3/4 cup of flour and a pinch of salt)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Apron (optional)
  • Dough scraper

Presentation:

  1. Wash hands and put on apron
  2. Pour water into bowl and add yeast. This is the only step that is important to do in order. We spend a long time watching the yeast and smelling it as it mixes with the water.
  3. Add oil, honey and flour/salt mixture
  4. Stir until there is no longer any dry flour
  5. Lightly flour surface
  6. Turn dough out on to table
  7. Show child how to flatten the dough then fold in half
  8. Allow child to knead as long as they like
  9. Return dough to bowl
  10. Use scrapper to scrape up loose bits of dough
  11. Clean table as you deem appropriate

I let the dough rise till about 10:30 in the morning, so that could mean anywhere from about 30 minutes to 2 hours. Then there are tons of options to finish it off: you can simply shape the rolls, you can invite the child who made the bread, or you can invite another child, I have done all variations. Then bake the rolls at 350* for 20 minutes.

Montessori Bread Work

Here is the full recipe and instructions. You will have to play with it at first and see if the dough seems to wet/dry. You can then add or subtract flour as needed. I do always have a mason jar of flour nearby not only to flour the table with, but to add to the bowl if the dough is too sticky.

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup flour

Mix water and yeast. Add oil, honey, flour and salt. Mix until incorporated. Turn dough out and knead about 10 minutes. Let rise 10 minutes to 2 hours. Form into rolls. Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes.

Tip – to help the honey come out easily, I always measure the oil into one bowl and then pour it into the final “oil bowl” then I put the honey in the first bowl (where I first poured the oil). This allows the child to easily pour the honey into the mixing bowl.

When we start bread work we always sing:

Mixing mixing round and round, till the white has turned to brown

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13 thoughts on “montessori bread work

  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I used to make Moosewood Cookbook’s version of banana bread with the school kids (because it had so many steps, everyone could help!). Your post helps me to break down this work into do-able steps.

    1. Oh I love the Moosewood cookbook! Cooking with children is so wonderful both in the home and in the class. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Bread! Love, love, love baking bread with kids! It reaches so many different areas – math, sensorial, practical life, science, language, etc. And it’s great for all ages. Great post!

    1. One thing I love about my current school is that each child get a special Friday where they get to bake muffins for the whole class! It is such a great one-on-one time, and they get to really measure all the ingredients and crack the eggs!

    1. Thank you for sharing! I have been following your blog for awhile now and it was so exciting to see my post on your Facebook page!

  3. I bake a LOT with my daughter but we have never made bread and I think we are going to try very soon! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. It’s so much fun! And what better vehicle for butter than fresh warm bread?

  4. Ok, I am feeling brave and am about to shamelessly steal this so we can make rolls for family with a new baby. Wish me luck.

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