Baking Bread
Time 5 hrs

Difficulty Intermediate
Prerequisites What Is Human Technologies?
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Wren Merrett
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Why is it that we call bread “the staff of life”? What is it about a 14,000 year old human technology that we still find fascinating and enticing in the 21st century? In this unit you’ll learn more about the history of bread whilst making your own loaf...which you will then eat!


What is needed to run this unit?
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Cross-Curricular Links
Do not try and force this. What areas of other subjects might this reflect and/discuss language. For IB, links with ToK.
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Teacher Reflection
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
  • ...
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.
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90 mins
Shopping and Preparation
Prior to class

This unit is intended to be done at home. In order to participate, you will need the following ingredients and equipment:

  • 1kg strong white bread flour (plain flour will do if needed) 
  • Tap water
  • 20g dry/instant yeast
  • Salt
  • Oil (olive, vegetable, butter, etc)
  • Oven
  • Oven gloves
  • Kitchen scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Baking tray
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Tea towel/cloth

Remember to be safe around ovens, and to discuss the project with your parents before getting started.

45 mins
Flour power
  • Think about the following questions
    • What is flour? 
    • What is the relationship between flour, seeds and grass? 
    • What common types of flour are there?
  • Experiment
    • Mix the following quantities into three separate containers. What different properties do they exhibit when touched? What do you notice about flour?
      • 50g flour, 20ml water
      • 50g flour, 40ml water
      • 50g flour, 60ml water
  • Research
    • Why does bread flour need to be “strong”?
  • Question time!
    • What is gluten?
  • Discuss what you've learned with your teacher
30 mins
This bread empty
  • Think about the following questions
    • What is yeast? 
    • What do yeast consume (e.g. input)?
    • What do yeast produce (e.g. output)?
  • Experiment
    • Mix the following quantities into three separate containers and leave them for 10 minutes. What happens? What do you notice about yeast?
      • 3g yeast, 100ml cold water
      • 3g yeast, 100ml fridge water
      • 3g flour, 60ml water
  • These questions too!
    • Why is yeast important when making bread?
    • If yeast eats sugar, why is there no sugar in our ingredients list?
  • Discuss what you've learned with your teacher
45 mins
- Homer J. Simpson

You will now use the video linked below to produce your own bread dough.

Remember to take photos of video of your work at different stages, as this will help with your evidence later on.

45 mins
Cooking and Eating
Om nom

Follow the rest of the video until your bread is cooked. Let your loaf cool for 45 minutes before slicing, buttering and eating it.

Think about the following questions.

  • Did you enjoy it?
  • Was your bread tasty?
  • How do you think bread was invented?
  • Why is bread such a staple of Western diets?
  • Why do you think bread is called the “staff of life”?
45 mins
Finishing Up

Compile some evidence of your breadmaking - it can be a Google doc, a slideshow or a video. Submit it, and you will have completed this unit!


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