Orchard Elementary School custodian, Mr. Les, helps Kindergarteners make sweet bread.

Kindergarten Bread and Butter Makers

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Thursday March 01, 2012

Dough? Check. Jam? Check. 16 helpers ready to make jelly rolls? Check. Mrs. McQuillen’s class got a chance to work with our district’s celebrity harvest for February: wheat. We had a community helper, our own custodian Mr. Les, come and help our class make sweet bread. We used organic flour and stuffed the bread with strawberry jelly from his home country of Poland (recipe below). This was a part of our district’s farm-to-school program, where students learn about where our food comes from, how it is made, and how it gets to us. This program uses hands-on learning experiences through growing, harvesting, and cooking food – essential learning toward having healthy, happy students.

In addition to the nutritional benefits of learning about our food, our students also turned on their science brains. Inquiry science is an important research-based component of our district’s curriculum. Ellen, an undergrad student from UVM brought some fresh heavy cream straight from the farm to our classroom. We put the cream in mason jars with some clean marbles, shook, shook, and shook some more and *ta-da!* butter emerged. The students used their senses to analyze and describe their experience. They noticed that the marbles made sound at first, but then became quiet as the cream thickened, and eventually they noticed something in the jar that looked suspiciously like butter.  Predictions like “smooth, sweet, bumpy, and yummy” were made about how the butter would taste with the bread that we made. After tasting, one boy remarked that, “Real butter is really good.”

This is one example of the many experiences we provide for our community’s children to help them learn – and we are always trying to do more. To find out more about our district Farm to School program and see what you can do, please visit our website at: www.farm-to-school.sbsd.schoolfusion.us.

SOURCE: Charles Supernaw, Student Intern

Mr. Les’ Polish Bread – “Chleb”
(pronounced “haleb”)

Step #1
Starter; mix the ingredients below in a large bowl and leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours, or over night.

· 3 cups of bread flour
· 3 pinches of dry yeast
· 1.5 cups of warm water

Step #2

Use the same bowl as the starter and add:

· 1 cup warm milk or water
· 5 level cups flour
· 1 tablespoon honey
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 level spoon of dry yeast
· 2 rounded tablespoons of plain yogurt
· 1 level teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in large bowl with an electric beater, bread attachment, or by hand, kneading well. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

Take half the dough and press it out on a floured surface to make it about ¼ inch or so.

Take a round cutter and cut the rectangle of dough into circles. Place about a teaspoon of jam or jelly on one circle of dough, top with another circle, then pinch around the circles to close them together with jelly inside.

Place on a pan, lightly greased or lined with parchment paper and let rise 30 minutes.

Mix one egg and 1 teaspoon of warm water into a bowl. Brush the egg mixture on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle with a few pinches of organic turbinado sugar on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes in a regular oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes in a convection oven.