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Iris is about to turn her kitchen into a bread lab with her Aunt Mary. Today’s experiment: Whole wheat sourdough.
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not for Iris. She has to feed her many pets before Aunt Mary arrives. Iris likes to call her Aunt Mary “Plant Mary,” because Aunt Mary is a plant scientist. They’re about to turn Iris’s kitchen into a bread lab. Today’s science experiment: Making whole wheat sourdough from scratch.
First, they mix the four ingredients needed to make the bread: flour, water, salt, and Flora the starter. Then, they knead the bread until it’s strong. What happens after they let the loaf rest? To find out, come along for a scientific bake-off featuring microbes, tasty aromas, and a crust-loving dog named Charlie.
Bread Lab! takes a close, step-by-step look at the process of using microbes to make a loaf of bread from scratch. The narrative features accessible scientific ideas and representations of girls in science. It also connects the dots between farming, plant science, and the foods we love to eat. Written by real-life plant researchers Kim Binczewski and Bethany Econopouly, illustrated by Hayelin Choi, and published by Readers to Eaters.