My Own Genius Hour Project

I have two teen-aged children of my own and they’ve been grumbling because their teachers don’t do genius hour. I told them they didn’t need a class, just an hour of their own each week. My eldest decided we should have family genius hour.

My project will be baking breads from scratch. I know a little bit about it. I have a bread maker and sometimes use it to make the dough and finish the loaf or buns by hand. I’ve also made cinnamon buns using my grandmother’s scratch recipe, but I’d like to really explore bread baking.

Today I started by reading a couple of articles about how to bake bread from scratch. I decided to start with a French style loaf since that suits tonight’s supper well.

I was surprised to learn how much kneading is required – 10 to 13 minutes if you do it by hand! That’s a pretty good workout!img_1343

Kneaded and ready for rising

I incorporated a couple of tips that were new to me: I warmed my bowl before mixing the dough by pouring hot water in; and I covered the dough with plastic wrap for warming. In the past I’ve used a tea towel, but I have had the dough stick to it a couple of times.




A little uneven, but ready for the oven

I tried the steam feature on my oven as I read that improves the crust.


Oops, cooked a little more quickly than expected. I think I’ll drop the temperature next time.

I’ll do a few things differently next time. I’ll knead directly on the clean counter top like the recipe suggested. My rolling mat just kept sliding around, annoying me, while I kneaded. I’ll also do some research on kneading techniques since my dough didn’t past the kneading test even after 14 minutes of kneading.


Supper – my bread and the leftover ratatouille I made for my Grade 8 French class

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