“I am making bread,” he said with a confident smile across his small face. Jackson, not quite 3 years old, is already an accomplished baker. See for yourself by stopping by Toddler I around 10:30 any morning and tasting the delectable goodness coming out of the oven.
When teachers Cathy Bocklage and Emily Garcia-Shelton had the idea to teach toddlers how to make bread, even they did not realize just how well their students would rise to the task. Emily’s father, a famous baker, was her inspiration in starting this project. “It’s awesome to witness what children are capable of doing, even at this young age,” said Emily.
There are many teachable moments through simple baking work, including practical life skills such as pouring and stirring to the more complex critical thinking needed to follow a recipe and combine ingredients, as well as exercising patience to see the task through to the end.
Finally, when the baking is done, toddlers enjoy their warm bread together. That’s not all they enjoy together. At this tender age, they also enjoy the pride of accomplishment and independence: doing something themselves. When we let them, the results can be amazing. And delicious.
The Toddler Loaf recipe
3 cups White Whole Wheat flour
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar (turbinado)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp olive oil (used to coat hands for kneading)
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and slowly add water and stir until all ingredients are mixed together. Knead the dough and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When ready to bake, spray top of dough with water and place in oven. Reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for 40 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!