What's the perfect snack to feed three hungry kids if one needs help learning her numbers, a second understands fractions well enough to measure ingredients, and a third needs to practice using a ruler?
Here's a word problem for you: What's the perfect snack to feed three hungry kids if one needs help learning her numbers, a second understands fractions well enough to measure ingredients, and a third needs to practice using a ruler?
Raychelle Staron found the answer in a soft pretzel recipe.
Staron, whose three children learn from home through the online school Ohio Connections Academy, incorporated several math and science lessons into an afternoon baking session. Big brother Jake, 11, studied the recipe and added the ingredients. He worked with 9-year-old Ava to mix the pretzel dough.
"I measured out all the different ingredients," Jake said. "It's fun mixing a whole bunch of different stuff into a big blob of stuff that becomes something tasty."
Once the dough was prepared the kids rolled it into snake-like strips and shaped them into numbers. Ava measured her dough pieces with a pink ruler. Five-year-old Addison worked carefully to make sure she didn't create any backwards numbers.
Once the number pretzels were complete, the kids painted them with egg wash and sprinkled them with salt. Staron popped them into the oven.
Staron said she loves that Connections Academy includes cooking in their curriculum because it's an important life skill.
"I like that they won't be lost when they're on their own," she said, adding that cooking "has been part of their lives from when they were small."
The Staron kids gave this particular recipe three thumbs up.
"It tastes good," Jake said.
RECIPE: Soft Pretzels
1-1/3 cups of warm water 1 package of dry active yeast 1 tablespoon of sugar 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon of table salt 3-1/4 cups of all purpose flour 1 tablespoon of water 2 tablespoons of coarse salt Cooking oil (spray) Directions:
Grownup: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray the two baking sheets with the cooking oil. Kid: Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes.Then stir until completely dissolved. Add sugar, table salt, and 1 cup of flour; stir until blended. Kid and Grownup: Add 2 more cups of flour a half-cup at a time, stirring to blend after each one.The dough should be well blended. Grownup: Sprinkle some flour over a clean kitchen surface or cutting board.
Kid and Grownup: Roll the dough onto the floured surface.Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling lightly with flour if the dough is sticky. Kid: Pull the dough into 12 equal pieces.Roll 1 piece into a rope about 15 inches or any length you desire, depending on the size of the heart you want to make.Put the pretzel on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. Grownup: Break an egg into a small bowl, beat it and add 1 tablespoon of water.Beat together. Kid: Brush the egg wash over each pretzel using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the coarse salt over the pretzels with your fingers. Grownup: Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack before serving.