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Keith Elementary students learn lessons through baking

December 14, 2018

As fourth grader Wilson Murray assisted in the process of forming dough, he came to a realization.

“Baking bread is harder than it looks,” Murray said.

King Arthur Flour, a baking supply company, presented a Bake for Good Program demonstration at Keith Elementary on Dec. 13. Keith was one of four Cypress-Fairbanks ISD elementary schools to host the program during the week.

Keith Elementary School fourth grade students honed their math and science skills while learning how to make bread, pizza and cinnamon rolls from scratch. However, one of the key lesson baked into the program is learning to share.

Participating students were given a recipe book and supplies to bake two loaves of bread.

Students took one of their loaves home to share with their families. The other loaves were donated to local nonprofits — including Northwest Assistance Ministries, Cypress Assistance Ministries and Cy-Fair Helping Hands — to distribute to people in need.

Bake for Good Program presenter, Pam Jensen, said the free program links giving back to the community with education and baking through an exciting and interactive demonstration.

“It creates education and education changes lives,” Jensen said. “They learn to be bakers. It creates family time because the kids take home their own ingredient bag. They bake with their parents and they become the teachers.”

Jenson began the demonstration by asking her two assistants, Murray and fellow fourth grader CC Cacchione, to help mix the yeast, sugar and water together using tools, such as a measuring cup and bowls.

Jensen connected each step to math, vocabulary and science concepts such as measurement, estimation and the forming of carbon dioxide bubbles while creating the mixture to make bread.

“Moisture in the air makes moisture in the flour so you have to use more flour in order to get the dough the right texture,” she said during the presentation. “If you live somewhere humid like Houston or San Francisco you have to use more flour.”

Throughout the presentation, Jensen asked students questions on steps in the process and how she should proceed.

“She was a great presenter,” said Nicole Carroll, Keith Elementary counselor and mother of a participating student. “She was able to keep the kids’ attention. It was really cool to see the kids engaged about learning how to bake.”

Cacchione said she liked learning how to bake alongside Jensen.

“I just learned how to make bread and braid it,” she said. “I already knew how to braid my hair.”

Murray said he liked the latter part of the presentation where he learned how to form pizza dough.

“My favorite part was throwing the pizza,” he said.

According to Jensen, King Arthur Flour presents the Bake for Good Program all school year for free in order to keep children engaged and to give back to the community.

“This is why I love my job,” she said.

chevall.pryce@chron.com

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