4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 TBS instant yeast
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS melted butter
4 cups warm milk
6 cups bread flour
1 1/2 TBS salt
In a very large bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, yeast, and sugar. Pour in milk and butter. Mix well. Slowly add 1 cup of bread flour at a time, until you have added 4 cups. Dough should be sticky. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
Add salt and 1 cup flour. If the dough is too sticky to knead add more flour, up to one cup. Knead on floured surface 8-10 minutes. Add flour as needed to keep from sticking.
Let rise until doubled, about 65 minutes. When the dough is ready, you should be able to push a floured finger deep into it and leave an indentation that doesn't spring back.
Preheat oven to 375. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Shape dough into loaves and place seam side down in greased pans. Cover and let rise about 50 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and let cool 40 minutes before cutting.
*I made a couple changes: I didn't have bread flour, so I used all purpose. I substituted 1/2 cup flour with instant potato flakes to help the bread be less crumbly.*
If you have a two year old, you might have heard the following phrase in some form: “Me do it myself!” We are certainly hearing this often around our house these days. Using the Montessori practical life is a great way to fulfill the needs of young children to feel independent.
What is practical life?
Family life is practical life. Small children love to imitate. When given opportunity and encouragement they often choose real work over imaginary play. Allowing children to participate in family work teaches them that we value and respect them and that they are a part of the family. Practical life is generally divided into three areas. I have given some examples for each.
- Care of Environment – folding washcloths, dusting, setting their place
- Care of the Person – washing hands, zipping coat, pouring own water
- Grace and Courtesy – introducing themselves, saying “please" and “thank you”
“The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to … help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society ... Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking.” - www.infomontessori.com
- Demonstrate first (Teach by teaching, not by correcting)
- Break the task into small parts
- Use everyday activities (washing dishes, sweeping, preparing food)
- Provide “real” tools
What do they learn?
- To concentrate and finish an activity
- Respect for environment, self and others
- To contribute to the family in a meaningful way
- Hand-eye coordination
- Working in a social group
- Freedom - Is the area safe and accessible?
- Order - Do things have a place?
- Beauty - Does my child's environment deserve respect?
- Nature and Reality - Are there "real" things my child can work with? (Child-size "adult" items)
- Social Environment - Does the environment encourage myself and others to interact with my child?
- Intellectual Growth - Are there opportunities for my child to learn and grow?