Pi Day

It is Pi Day. March 14. 3/14.

Sigh. I am not into it, honestly. I feel like it’s contrived. Maybe you can convince me otherwise. In the meantime…

If you, like me, are not planning to bake OR eat pie today, why not bake something. Even if it’s cake from a box. Or brownies. Or whatever. Get the kids involved in the baking process. (Easy for me to say…here, north of Boston, we are experiencing our 4th snow day off from school in 5 days! I am not lacking for time with my children.)

Seriously, though. Bake or cook with your kids. Use a recipe that involves measurement. Measuring cups. Measuring spoons. Kitchen scale. Kitchen timer. Chill out about the mess that the kids are likely to make. If this is what keeps you from cooking with your kids, get over it.

After cooking, when you have a finished product, involve the kids in figuring out how to divide it up. How to cut the cake? Into squares? Rectangles? Wedges? How many? How many pieces to cut in that pizza? Same number of pepperonis on each piece? It is so easy to get mathy when you are cooking. (Sometimes I purposely hide the 1 cup measuring cup to force the kids to use the 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 cup to measure the same amount. Yes, I know…I am wild and crazy.)

I’m planning on baking spoon bread with the kids today. It’s simple. It’s magical. And my recipe involves measuring by volume OR weight. That’s a fun mathy moment. We pull out the kitchen scale and watch the grams grow after we zero the scale and add ingredients.

Here’s my recipe:

French Style Bread (“Spoon” Bread)

1 Tbls (60g) dry active yeast added to 1/4 cup warm water – set aside

1 cup (235g) hot water (to touch)

1 1/2 Tbls (22g) sugar

1 1/2 tsp (12g) salt

1/4 cup (40g) oil

3 cups (425g) flour

Instructions: Mix yeast into warm water in a small bowl. In a medium sized bowl, place remaining ingredients and mix together. Add yeast mixture. Stir together with wooden spoon just until ingredients are pulled together. The mixture will be stiff to stir and shaggy looking. When blended, it will look like really thick batter. Leaving spoon in bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour. Every 10 minutes, stir dough, cover and set aside. The batter will transform into soft dough.

After the hour, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough to lightly coat outside surface with flour. Form dough into a long loaf or cut into two pieces and form into two smaller long loaves. Place loaves separated on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn over on to 400*F. Let loaves sit for a t least 20 minutes. Bake on middle shelf for 20-30 minutes until medium brown and temperature probe is at least 185*.

Let sit on rack and cool at least 10 minutes before cutting with serrated knife. Yum!

(Mathematically…you can talk about 3.14 today. Or not. Chances are you will have plenty of opportunities for a mathy moment whether it is related to pi or not. We might just start talking about Zeno’s Paradox when we slice the bread we bake! Cut the loaf in half. Then in half again. Then in half again. How many times can I cut it in half? Have a happy day!)

Photo on Visual Hunt

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