STEAM WEEK: Bread Pets

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”


American Chef James Beard (1903-1985)

What’s is a Bread Pet?

You’ve heard of pets. Maybe you even have a pet yourself, like a dog or a cat. You probably don’t have a bread pet, however! In the book, The Bread Pet: a Sourdough Story by Kate DePalma, Cora has to pet sit her Uncle JB’s Bread Pet! So what’s a Bread Pet?

“Cora, meet my Bread Pet,” said JB. “It’s sourdough, with bacteria and fungi growing inside it.”

from The bread pet: a sourdough story

DePalma’s book was published in 2020, just as sourdough baking became all the rage, with families looking for anything to pass time in the midst of a pandemic lockdown. This picture book explains the sourdough starter and baking processes, preparing little chefs for their first loaves of homemade bread. This sweet book with its surprise ending is useful for lessons in science, math, baking science, and the art of food preparation. The Bread Pet contains instructions for how to make sourdough starter, a bread recipe, and some further information.

Make Your Own Bread Pet!

There are plenty of resources for creating your own sourdough starter and baking your own loaf of bread!

  • As mentioned above, the book The Bread Pet contains instructions for making sourdough starter and a recipe for sourdough bread.
  • The publisher, Barefoot Books, has a Sourdough Made Simple blog post complete with recipes from the book and helpful tips!
  • A quick search of the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center reveals many sourdough recipes.
  • The library also has baking books to get you started on your sourdough journey!
Mastering Bread
by Marc Vetri and Claire Kopp McWilliams
New World Sourdough
by Bryan Ford
Crumb
by Richard Bertinet

Be a Citizen Scientist!

Your budding bakers and scientists can participate in a real science project through Students Discover that is all about the science of sourdough! Teachers will love the lessons included, such as “Which Variables Matter?” and the curriculum alignment standards provided. Parents and children will have fun being citizen scientists. Extension activities round out the lessons with graphing activities, math calculations, and, of course, recipes!

We hope you have fun with your newest family pets!

Natalie Bota

Miss Natalie is the Special Needs Librarian at Westlake Porter Public Library. She enjoys working with patrons of all ages and can usually be found in the Youth Services Department or the Reading Garden. She enjoys reading picture books and poetry, baseball, writing, cooking, and travel. She loves spending time with her pets, family, and friends.