Why We Bake Bread in Early Childhood Classes

Bread making at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm is a much loved activity beginning with children as young as two years old. Waldorf schools around the world use different bread recipes.

At Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, we have been making huckabuck bread since the first days of school, now 30 plus years ago!

From Parent and Child through Kindergarten, we create a nurturing home-like environment in our classrooms. Starting in Nursery, children love to do practical work such as making bread, chopping vegetables for their lunch soup, caring for the garden, working on simple sewing projects, painting, building forts and trails. Each day of the week has a purposeful activity. The teachers model tasks and the children learn through imitation, happily taking up this work. Learning through imitation and play are important elements of our school days.

The bread baking ritual begins in our Parent and Child class. The teacher gathers parents and children at the table and together knead the dough while the class sings the huckabuck bread song. We go around the table and say the pat-a-cake verse for each child. Songs and simple verses accompany this bread making activity and hold the group in a fun, loving rhythm.

Later on, in Nursery and Kindergarten children make their bread from scratch one day each week – on “bread day.” The songs from Parent & Child revive in their bodies, as they once again knead, sing and form their dough. Creativity soars as the children shape the dough into fun shapes that delight everyone at the table. As they wait for their bread to bake, the children patiently help set the table. For lunch these rolls are stuffed with cheese, meats, vegetables. Not a crumb is left when the children eat their sandwiches. What the children have made from scratch with their classmates and teachers always tastes best.

Working and eating together at the table is an important social activity. Through the whole process of kneading, baking, waiting, and eating the children are learningto slow the pace of their day and are becoming part of a community. At the table is where we begin to make connections to each other and form this community. The soft, squishy dough feels so good in the children’s hands. When the bread is baked, the children reach into the basket to find their special creations. Freshly baked bread is a feast for the senses, it smells so good and it’s delicious. Being together at the table is all too infrequent in our busy family lives. In our classes, we model coming together at the table with the children. We sing, tell stories, laugh, eat, and enjoy each other’s company — essential ingredients for a happy, healthy life.


To make your huckabuck bread a home, follow this simple recipe and bring the joy of bread baking to your home.

Huckabuck Bread Recipe


2 cups water
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon yeast
Organic white bread flour
Organic whole wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup honey

Large ceramic bowl
Bowl for dry ingredients
Bowl for wet ingredients

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of honey in warm water. Add yeast and let sit until frothy. Use a large ceramic bowl and warm the bowl (run warm water from the tap to warm the bowl and then empty bowl). All the ingredients will be added to this original bowl.

In a separate container, combine 4 cups each of white and whole wheat flour. Stir in salt.

In a separate container, combine oil, molasses, and honey.

When the yeast mixture is frothy, pour oil/sweetener mixture into yeast bowl and stir. Add flour/salt dry mixture to this wet mixture and stir/fold in the flour as you go. Do not add all the flour in one fell swoop. Use hands to combine and/or a dough hook. Knead for 10 minutes. Add more flour if it is too sticky to handle. Add more water if it’s dry and clumpy and will not hold together. Turn in butter bowl (if desired). Let rise approximately ½ hour in warm (not hot) place free from drafts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Punch down dough, knead and form into desired shapes. Place on lightly buttered baking sheets or into buttered loaf pans.

Cook at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes (approximate time). Bread is done when golden and sounds hollow when rapped with your hand. Remove from baking sheets to cool. Enjoy with honey butter (of course!).

The silver rain, the shining sun,

The fields where scarlet poppies run,

And all the ripples of the wheat

Are in the bread that we do eat

So when we sit for every meal

And say a grace: we always feel

That we are eating rain and sun,

And fields where scarlet poppies run.

A. Henderson

By Kate Hill, Parent & Child Lead Teacher

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