Monday, October 18, 2010

Bear Bread - Spheres and Fractions

The little ones, and I made a bear shaped, loaf of bread, to commemorate our bear tracking expedition.

And, thanks to a tip from Donna Erickson, at, we also shared a simple lesson on fractions, and spheres.

I started by giving the girls a batch of bread dough, fresh out of the bread maker, on a floured surface. Of course, you could mix a batch up, the traditional way, or Erickson suggests thawing a loaf of frozen, store bought, dough.

The girls divided the dough in half - into two equal pieces. Store bought dough would make this even easier, because it's already loaf shaped, it would be easy to measure, and find the exact middle. We just estimated, and pinched our ball of dough in half.

We put one half onto a greased cookie sheet, for the body.

The other half was divided in half again. One half became the head (pinched together with the body).

Then, after a small bit was removed, and rolled into a sphere for the nose...

...we divided the remaining dough into sixths, by pinching it in half, and then into thirds. I showed the girls how to use two hands to divide one ball into three equal pieces, but since my hands were then covered in flour, and dough, and the girls were becoming very interested in the flour on the table, I didn't pause to take any pictures.

We used the six equal pieces of dough, to form the bear's legs, arms, and ears. The girls rolled them into spheres, then we squished them a little, and placed them under the edges of the larger balls of dough, on the cookie sheet.

Lastly, we gently pushed in raisin eyes, and a belly button.

We covered the bear, with a clean towel, and let it rise for 45 minutes.

Then, we baked it for 25 minutes, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The girls enjoyed setting the oven timer. And, they discovered, that while 25 minutes is less than 45 minutes, it's still a very long time.

When the bear came out of the oven, the girls rubbed it with butter.

And, we ate it up, with the help of the rest of the family, together with butter, and honey, and some fresh fall apples.

Be sure to check out this week's Math Monday link-up, hosted by Joyful Learner, for even more fun with math.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Annette W. said...

I loved this!!!!

Christy Killoran said...

Brilliant! Plus, the bear is so cute!

Debbie said...

So yummy looking, and so fun!

Phyllis said...

Oh, that is so cute! I have been looking for something like this. Thanks!

Ticia said...

Yum, yum, yum. So need to get some frozen bread dough for a math lesson now.

Joyful Learner said...

Oh man! I was curious how you divided the dough into three parts with one hand until I got to the part where your hands were covered in flour! The bear looks too cute! I can't show it to my daughter because she's going to saw,"Awww" and then beg me to make one! I need to figure out how to make one. I wonder if it will work with rice flour?

Anonymous said...

A very delicious math lesson!

Phoenix Berries said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Oh, this turned out so cute. I bet it was also delicious!