Kids at Home with MPPL

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

Maker Monday: Baking Bread

Winter is a great time to bake bread.  While it takes time to rise, the hands-on time of baking bread is minimal.  Helping in the kitchen is useful for reinforcing following directions, practice with numbers, and is way to spend time with kids while bring productive. 

Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring Bakers book cover

This recipe is from Kid Chef Bakes, the kids cookbook for aspiring bakers, by Lisa Huff.  It makes two loaves of white sandwich bread.

Tools:
  • Stand mixer or large bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2 loaf pans (8 ½ by 4 ½, by 2 ½)
  • Pastry brush (optional)
  • Wire rack
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups warm milk (2% or whole is best, 105-115° f)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 T butter at room temperature
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Butter for greasing pans
Prepare the Yeast:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, or a large bowl using a spoon, mix the yeast, milk, and sugar. Let stand for 5 min.

Combine the Ingredients:

Add the 2 T butter, 4 c flour, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix on low with the hook attachment until well blended.  Add more flour as needed, a little at a time, until the dough forms.  Raise the speed to medium and continue to knead for 4-6 minutes or until the dough is elastic.  Alternatively, mix the flour in by hand and knead by hand for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Let it Rise:

Grease a large bowl with oil.  Add the dough and turn to coat, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to double in size, about 1 hour (or more if your house is cool). Tip the dough out, split it, and form two loaves. Please each loaf in a greased loaf pan.  Allow to rise again for about 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. 
Bake:

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brown and hollow sounding (bread should be about 200° F in the center when baked.) Cool slightly and then tip out onto a cooling rack.  Cut when cool.

Making Butter:

If you are looking for something to do while your bread is rising, try making butter in a jar.  All you need is heavy cream and a jar. Try this recipe: How to Make Homemade Butter

The Science of Yeast:

To learn more about yeast and for some simple yeast experiments, visit: https://redstaryeast.com/science-yeast/yeast-experiments/

Warm Up with Winter Reading!

Warm up with Winter Reading, January 1 through February 28

It may be cold outside, but you can enjoy books and activities from the warmth of your home. Read, attend virtual events, and get creative while earning digital badges and chances to win great prizes. Visit mppl.org/winterreading2021 for all the details!

Register with Beanstack to join in the fun. Then, log each day that you read or that someone reads to you, and enjoy fun activities to earn chances to win prizes!  

Don’t have a smartphone or internet access? Call to request a paper log in English or Spanish (847/590-3320 for English or 847/590-4090 para español).   

mppl.org/winterreading2021

Maker Monday: DIY Eco-Friendly Confetti

homemade confetti made with colored paper and a hole puncher

This activity is a great way to create confetti for your New or “Noon” Year’s Eve. 

homemade confetti made with colored paper and a hole puncher
Image by Penny Whitehouse

What you need:

  • Lots of colorful leaves
  • Hole punch

Then, make the confetti by using the hole punch to punch out pieces of the leaves.

For other eco-friendly activities and crafts, check out these books: 

Animal Web Cams

panda bear with its arms around a tree branch on the ground

Animals are amazing and you can learn so much by watching them at zoos, in their natural habitats, reading books, and looking up information about them with our web resources: https://mppldev.org/kids/got-homework/.

Live Web Cams and livestreams are a great way to see animals while staying home this winter. These cameras are mounted in animal enclosures and near animals’ habitats in the wild. By watching them you can get a glimpse of what these animals do daily. Here are some of our favorites: 

Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otter Cam 

Giant Panda Cam at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Sloth Cam at the Hattiesburg Zoo

Coral Reefs, Jellyfish, and More Web Cams at the National Aquarium 

Finally, if you are more a fan of dogs and cats, check out these web cams: 

Kitten Rescue Sanctuary 

Puppy Playroom at Warrior Canine Connection