Math IS Real Life: January 2016 edition: a warm breakfast

It’s the first Wednesday of January which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture to link back to this blog post


 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by MissMathDork,


I hope 2016 is treating you kindly so far!  So far mine has been full of tasty, warm, fresh bread!!!  My husband bought me an awesome bread maker for Christmas (isn’t he the best?!).  So far, I have learned a few math lessons (and a few chemistry lessons!) from using my new toy!

1) First lesson – temperature matters!  Don’t let your water be too hot or too cool! (dense!)

2) The type of butter you use matters!  Don’t use the sea salt and olive oil butter that your father-in-law grabbed for you when you were out…. crumble city!!

3) Starting with one recipe, and then accidentally switching to another AND not adding in enough yeast…. bad idea, friend!

4) There is NO estimating in baking bread…. if it ask for 4 1/4 c of bread flour, make sure you are leveling off those cups with exact measurements!

However, my favorite math lesson is one of elapsed time! My bread machine has a timer feature that allows me to put all the ingredients in, set a timer, and wake up to a nice warm bread loaf of bread!!  (Also, knowing how long it takes to make a loaf of bread comes in very handy if you want to use said loaf of bread for a meal that is happening in the near future!)


First select the course!


A “quick” loaf takes about 2.5 hours for the entire rest, knead, rise, knead, rise, bake process.  A regular loaf takes about 3.5 hours.  I really prefer my bread slightly warm when eating it, so having my dinner time in mind, and subtracting 2.5 or 3.5 hours has and will continue to come in handy.


Using the timer feature you can add up to 13 hours (13 b/c the company determined that was the ‘maximum’ fresh time for the water to be in contact with the flour before a huge ball of paste would occur in the mixing process). Here, it comes in handy 1) to know if 13 hours is enough time.  If I want warm bread for breakfast in the morning, the EARLIEST I can start my loaf of bread is 6pm.  The latest I can start it is 4:00 am (what the heck am I doing making bread at 4 am only to “wake up” and eat breakfast 2 hours later?!).


Oh, I almost forgot another very important math lesson — Spatial awareness is also necessary with my machine.  My basic recipe calls for water, flour, sugar, salt, butter and yeast.  The layering is key.  First water, then flour covering ALL the water, then the sugar, salt, and butter have to be laid on top of the flour so that those three ingredients (and the water underneath the flour) do not touch the yeast.  If you look closely above, you can see that the sugar/salt are to the left and right edges.  It’s like playing a fun game of tetris to make sure it all goes in evenly.


Then the kneading, rising, kneading, rising stage happens.  This is SUPER fun to watch.  Somehow the machine senses when the dough ball is on one side more than the other and you can hear it slowly churning and stretching the dough so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan.


After waiting a few hours, the house smells amazing and the (super tall) loaf is ready to devour!  Excuse me while I go devour this one!  I’m looking forward to trying new recipes and hopefully not having too many #breadfails — I’ll keep you updated!


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, computation and estimation, fractional reasoning, geometry and measurement, hands-on math, math is real life, and mathematical reasoning.


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