If you're like most young people your age, you would have had either a lot of fun working with play dough or clay, and making wonderful, colorful shapes and sculptures. Maybe you made letter or number shapes. Maybe you made boats, dolls, or miniature animals.
Well, when you use real dough to make bread or cake, you can have the
same kind of fun.
But the best thing about real dough is that you get to eat it after
you have baked it, and that's something you can't do with make-believe
dough or clay.
Real dough is what you get when you mix flour and yeast and a liquid - usually water.
First you knead the dough - that means working it with your hands in
much the same way that you handle make-believe dough. You knead real
dough about 4 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and stretchy.
And then you shape it. Grown-ups stick to bread loaf shapes most of
the time...but you can let your imagination help you in making your
favorite shape. Or you can refer to the recipes on this web site that
have been developed especially for young folks like you. And the recipes
will also tell you how to make a variety of shapes...and how to use safe
food coloring to color them.
The ingredients you need
Yeast is an important ingredient in the recipes you'll be using to make
fun shapes that you can bake and enjoy eating. Yeast is a living organism.
When you mix Fleischmann's QuickRise Yeast with flour and liquid, it grows.
It's the ingredient that makes the dough rise and gives home-baked bread its
wonderful taste and aroma.
Other ingredients you need are flour, water (and sometimes other liquids,
such as milk), sweetener, salt, eggs, and fat (butter/margarine/shortening/oil).
Check your recipe to make sure you have any other ingredients you may need.
If you want to learn more about typical baking ingredients,
The basic tools
The basic tools used for baking are baking pans, mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, a timer, a thermometer, and a cooling rack. To learn about these and other basic tools you should have on hand for baking,
Wear comfortable clothes when you bake and wear an apron, too. If your sleeves are long, roll them up. Tie your hair back if it's long.
Then clear a workspace for yourself and put away everything you don't plan to use.
Put health and safety first
The first thing to do before handling food is to carefully wash your hands with
soap and warm water and dry them thoroughly. And then, before you begin, take
a few minutes to review some safety information first.
All the recipes in the KIDS' RECIPES section are baked in the oven.
Instructions apply to the average gas or electric oven found in most homes,
not to microwave ovens. Here are some important steps and precautions to keep
in mind when using the oven:
Newer models of gas ovens are self-lighting. You just turn the temperature
dial to the temperature you want and the oven goes on and heats up.
Older gas ovens have to be lighted with a match. If your oven is like this,
ask an adult to light it for you. Never light a gas oven with a match by yourself.
With all electric ovens, you just turn the temperature dial to the correct temperature.
Preheat your oven according to the recipe directions. It usually takes about
15 minutes for an oven to reach the temperature you need.
Make sure you have oven mitts and pot holders handy. You should have your
oven mitts on when when you open the oven door or when you pick up a hot pot
from the stove.
Always pull an oven rack out a little when checking on your recipe or
removing a pan from the oven. Never reach all the way into a hot oven to get a pan out.
Always have a cooling rack or or hot plate nearby for the hot baking pan you
remove from the oven.
If you're heating a saucepan on top of the stove, turn the handle in toward
the back of the stove to make sure it doesn't get bumped and turned over.
Turn the oven or stove burners off as soon as you're finished with them.
It is very important to use electric appliances carefully.
Make sure that any appliance you use has fully stopped before scraping
the sides of a mixer bowl or when taking the lid off a blender or food
Make sure your hands are clean and dry before plugging in a blender,
mixer or food processor.
Unplug appliances as soon as you are finished. Again, be sure your
hands are dry.
Never put your fingers or utensils into a blender, food processor or
mixing bowl when the machine is on.
Always pick up a knife by the handle, not by the blade. If the recipe calls
for something to be sliced, work on a clean, dry cutting board. If you have
any problem cutting with the knife, be sure to ask an adult for help.