Lets Bake Bread and Make Yeast Balloons!

Let’s bake bread and make yeast balloons!

Have you ever wondered what makes bread fluffy and light? It’s a fungus (like
mushrooms)! When added to the flour, water, and other ingredients in the dough, this
fungus, called Baker’s yeast, breaks down the sugars in the flour and makes a gas
called carbon dioxide. This gas makes the dough rise and get fluffy.

Here’s a fun experiment to try to see how the yeast works!


What you need:

• 1 packet of active dry yeast
• 1 cup very warm water (105° F–115° F)
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• a large rubber balloon
• a small (1-pint to 1-liter) empty water bottle

What you do:

1. Stretch out the balloon by blowing it up repeatedly, and then lay it aside.

2. Add the packet of yeast and the sugar to the cup of warm water and stir.

3. Once the yeast and sugar have dissolved, pour the mixture into the bottle.
You’ll notice the water bubbling as the yeast produces carbon dioxide.

4. Attach the balloon to the mouth of the bottle, and set both aside.

5. After several minutes, you’ll notice the balloon standing upright. If you don’t
see anything happen, keep waiting. Eventually, the balloon will inflate.

What is happening:
Carbon dioxide gas is filling up the balloon. During baking, the carbon dioxide
fills bubbles in the dough and makes the bread fluffy and airy.

Something else to try:
Try another leavener-Do the same experiment, but use 1 Tablespoon of baking
soda, instead of yeast and remove the sugar. What happens?

Which leavener takes longer to fill up the balloon?

What temperature does the yeast work best at?

Easy bread recipe:
• 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
• 2 cups warm water
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 5-1/2 to 6 cups flour
• 2 tsp. salt
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, which should feel
pleasantly warm when dropped on the wrist. Whisk in the sugar. Add 2
cups of the flour into the bowl. Whisk the mixture well, then let it “proof,”
or sit for 10 minutes. If tiny bubbles appear and the batter looks slightly
expanded, you’re on the right track.
2. Stir in the salt, then add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time. Turn the
dough onto a lightly floured countertop. Knead for 10 minutes. (To knead,
fold the dough in half and push it down and away with the heel of your
hand, rotate the dough, and repeat until it is smooth and elastic.)
3. Place the ball in a bowl rubbed with vegetable oil and turn to coat. Cover
with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a draft-free
area for 1 to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. Punch the dough
down. Knead it again to remove air bubbles. For no-frills bread, divide
the dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle. Fold it into thirds as
you would fold a letter to put it into an envelope. Turn the ends under and
place the dough, seam-sides down, in greased loaf pans. Cover the pans
with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a draft-free area for about 45
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the bread for 30 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven; if the bottom of the loaves sound hollow
when tapped, the bread is done. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then
transfer to a wire rack. Rub with butter or margarine for a shiny finish, if
you want. Cool the loaves and wrap tightly in plastic until ready to eat.
Wrapped loaves can be frozen. Makes 2 loaves.