No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Breadmaking at St Mark's Primary School, Basingstoke (2)

Once again it's the time of the year when there's space in the curriculum when I can go into my daughter's school and make bread with her year group.

It's the third year I've done this, and last year I made bread with 74 children (it's a three form intake). I'm hoping to break the record this year, since there are 79 children in the year.

Bread roll recipe (with suggestions for different shapes.)

Tomorrow, starting with the first group of 25 at 8.50, we plan to have the bread proving by 9.50; the second by 10.00 with the bread proving by 11.00; and the third starting at 11.10 with the bread proving by 12.10.

These times are very flexible, of course, and I'm well aware we didn't finish until 3.20 last year (although we did take time out for lunch).

Wednesday 13th June.
We got under way at 8.50, as planned, with 25 youngsters and soon got into a routine. Up to ten tables arranged in a U shape, each with groups of 2 or 3 children. Every group had a mixing bowl, a mug and a teaspoon.

After a demonstration of making a bread dough, dividing the dough and forming a few shapes, the children followed suit. Sharing the activity between themselves, the children measured the flour and salt, poured the water and stirred in the yeast. This was added to the flour and the dough was mixed.

Once made, the dough was divided into, generally, three pieces and shaping began. Here are some of the busy tables and the shapes the children attempted:

This is a coiled snake - a cobra, but the head wouldn't stay upright 

The numbers are important - to identify the bread

Lots going on - the children were completely engaged
Once the dough was shaped and on the tray, it was safe

This was from the first session. 
The numbers built up: 1-25 in the first session; 26-51 in the second; and 52-77 in the third.

My projected timings were pretty close - we began the second session around 10.10 and the third about 11.30. By 12.40 the last batch were baking. All this in one domestic oven!

There weren't many pics of the finished rolls, since I wasn't in charge of baking them. By the time I got down to the kitchen area, most of them were bagged up and tagged with the name labels the youngsters had been wearing.

It was a brilliant morning and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves - I certainly did! It was hectic at times but I had some lovely feedback - one youngster calling the session "Awesome!" Praise indeed.

I had some terrific support from teachers and teaching assistants - and I'm already hearing of the knock-on effects.

After I summarise the lesson, I always give the students some homework - which is to go home and teach someone what they've learned today.

I wasn't allowed to show the children's faces in the pics. However, the teachers took photo's which will be posted on the school's internal website - with a link to this blog.

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