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Making bread takes a lot more than flour

PEPPERELL — Nissitissit Middle School fifth- and sixth-graders had a treat recently with a visit from a representative from King Arthur Flour.

They all met in the school’s auditorium to hear a program: Learn, Bake, Share.

NMS sixth-grade teacher Jean Greelis, heard about the free program at a conference she attended (Mass Association of Science Teachers); she applied to bring the program to NMS and was contacted to schedule it.

The presentation showed students how to make bread, and in the process, they learned how so many educational components are utilized in the bread-making process: volume, weight, stages of matter and what living things require; fractions, measurement, estimating.

NMS teachers incorporated writing as well, with each student required to write a persuasive paper stating why they should be selected as a volunteer to assist in the presentation. Jackson Anselmi and Sophia Lanzilotti were chosen.

Greelis thought the presentation was fantastic. The students liked it as well. They sat quietly watching and listening as the bread-making was underway. They answered questions, laughed at the funny comparisons and accepted a package of ingredients at the end of the show.

Not only did King Arthur Flour present to the students, they also gave each student yeast, flour and a pastry scraper to bring home and use to make two loaves of bread over the weekend. As the third part of the program is “share,” each student kept one loaf at home and brought one loaf back to school. These second loaves were donated to “My Father’s House” in Fitchburg.

Emma Benson said, “The best part was getting to bring the ingredients home to bake. It’s a good way to learn math because you have to measure everything and use fractions and it’s a good way to learn science because the yeast reacts with sugar and warm water to make the dough rise.” She also thought it was a really good idea to donate the homemade bread to a food pantry.

Abby Nick bakes bread a lot at home. While her mom Abby was afraid she’d be bored, instead she is excited to make cinnamon rolls and braided bread and pretzels. These were also shown to students during the presentation.

All in all, the program got a thumbs up.