Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

4th Grade Homework – Bake Bread!!

Two days ago my son came home from school with a fairly heavy, plastic grocery bag in his hand.  When I asked what was in it he informed me that it was his homework for Thursday.  Ok, this was interesting.  He then proceeded to hand me a sheet of paper that explained what this was all about.  The King Arthur Flour company was at their school for an assembly to promote their Life Skills Bread Baking Program.  The objective was for the kids to learn that with a little science, a little baking instruction and some good flour, they can bake delicious bread.  They had provided the flour, yeast, rubber scraper & a plastic bag to hold the loaves.

Ok, great concept!  But my initial reaction was “I don’t have three hours to spare on a Thursday night to bake bread”.  His response “Oh don’t worry, the principal asked the teachers not to give us any homework that night”.  Awesome! But who was going to tell my boss or my clients not to schedule any conference calls or bug me with emails that evening?  I suggested perhaps going to the Whole Foods and buying a couple of loaves to donate.  Told him to tell the teacher that his mother is a professional baker and that’s why they look so perfect.  Needless to say he didn’t think much of the idea.  Seriously, couldn’t they have them do this on a Sunday?  But I saw how excited the little man was and gave in………after all the school was going to donate the loaves to a local food pantry.

I haven’t baked bread in over ten years.  I have to admit it was fun!  I didn’t do a lot.  My job was to read and knead and provide a little guidance.  Oh yes, and clean up.  He did all the measuring and mixing and followed the instructions impeccably right down to the shaping and scoring of the loaves.  I had forgotten how therapeutic baking bread can be.  Just kneading the dough worked some of my week’s stress away, and believe me there was a lot of it.  Smelling it baking in the oven as I type this is melting away the rest.  The glass of wine next to me doesn’t hurt.

Best part of all…….we get to keep one loaf!!  So the next time you have the urge to go to the local market and pick up a fresh loaf of bread, consider baking some at home.  We had a blast bonding over bread!

Final thought:  Don’t do it on a Thursday, save it for the weekend!  I’m exhausted!

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