Classroom Activity
Pita Bread
Bread making offers children the
opportunity to explore math and science
concepts and traditions of other countries —
watch them rise to the occasion!

AGES 4–5
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Materials:

  • pita bread ingredients
  • cooking utensils
  • pita fillings
  • chart paper and markers

Objective: Children will engage in a bread-baking activity that encourages the development of math, science, and multicultural concepts.

ACTIVITY
1. Explain to children that they will be baking a special type of bread called "pita bread". Pita bread is also called "pocket bread." Do they know why? Ask them to share what they may already know about pita bread.

2. Engage children in gathering the baking utensils, washing the cooking surface, and washing their hands. Review the recipe before starting. Discuss the different processes with children. Encourage children to notice how the ingredients change during the cooking process.

3. Use paper plates to cut out several circles that measure 6 inches in diameter. These will be used to measure the pita breads during the recipe.

Pita Bread Recipe (Make an illustrated recipe chart for the children to follow)
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. quick rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 to 1 1/2 cups flour
cooking oil and cornmeal (for greasing cookie sheet)

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Beat well for about one minute. Mix the remaining flour, using just enough to make the batter soft, not sticky. Turn the dough out on a floured board and continue to knead for five minutes. Divide into 10 balls. Roll out each one to 1/2-inch thick and 6 inches in diameter (use paper plate circles to measure).

Place the circles on a very lightly greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 25 to 35 minutes. Ask children to carefully observe the dough before and after it rises. What ingredient do they think caused the dough to rise?

Bake at 450°F for four minutes. Turn the bread over and bake for an additional four minutes or until lightly brown. Wrap immediately in a dishtowel for three to four minutes. Cool before eating.

Pita bread can be eaten a variety of ways:

  • Open the pockets and fill with favorite sandwich stuffers or try traditional hummus spread.
  • Make pita bread pizza with tomato sauce and shredded cheese.
  • Make wraps by using favorite spreads and rolling up the bread.
  • Invite the children to experiment by eating pita bread in their own inventive ways.

You can double your recipe and freeze or refrigerate the bread to use on a different day in a different way!

Curriculum Connection

Social Studies/Literacy:
Pita bread is eaten in countries like Greece, Israel, Syria, and Egypt. Assist children in locating these countries on a map or globe. Then share a book with children about varieties of bread. Create a list of all of the different types of bread listed in the book, the countries they come from (if that information is available), and characteristics of the breads (flat, long, and so on). Ask the children to describe the different types of breads that they have eaten. Invite the children to choose a few types of bread to bake. You may also want to take a class trip to a local bakery.

BOOKS
Check out these books for movement inspiration!

Bread Is for Eating by David and Phillis Gershator
(Scholastic Inc.; $1.86)
Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
(Scholastic Inc.; $2.96)
Wheat by Susan Canizares & Daniel Moreton
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.25)