Making Bread – Respiration in action!

Making Bread -Respiration in action Science Sparks

Respiration is a biological process that is fundamental to any living things. It is the process by which energy is made, so that all the chemical reactions can occur in your body.

Respiration is the reaction between glucose (your food) and oxygen in the air you breathe, to produce carbon dioxide and water (waste products) and the all important ENERGY!

We can see this process occurring when we make bread!

You will need

A mixing bowl

500g of strong white bread flour

2tsp of salt

2 sachet of yeast

40g of soft butter

300ml of tepid water

Olive oil

Making Bread - Respiration in action Science Sparks



1. Put the flour in the bowl along with the butter all chopped up.

2. Put the salt one side of the bowl and the yeast the other (otherwise the salt will kill the yeast)

3. Mix together and add the water slowly to bring together as a rough dough

4. Put a tsp of olive oil onto the work surface and out your dough on top.

5. Start kneading together the dough so that it is coated in the oil and becomes smooth and stretchy. This may take at least 5 minutes.

6. Clean out your mixing bowl and smear with oil

7. Place you dough into the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel

8. After an hour it should have doubled in size.

9. Tip it out onto the work surface with some flout and knead out the air until smooth and roll and shape into your loaf shape.

10. Place on a lined baking tray and cover with the tea towel again to rise one more.

11. After another hour it should have once again doubled in size.

12. Sprinkle on some flour and score in your pattern.

13. Place in the oven at 200 degree with a roasting tin of water at the water to make steam.

14. Cook for half and hour and your bread is ready!


The science bit!

The yeast is a living thing and needs to respire to make energy! If feeds off the flour and used oxygen to respire and produce carbon dioxide as a waste product. It is this gas that causes the bread dough to rise! Respiration in action!

The bread is very yummy even if I do say so myself so not only a bit of science but lunch too!



Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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  1. I should, I want to, but I can’t be ar*ed! Now when I’ve got a breadmachine that does it far better!

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    • Ha ha, but The Boy would love it! x

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  2. Thanks for sharing the science behind this, I actually never knew all those details. I just knew there was a gas formed that made it rise, really interesting. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness!

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    • Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! x

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    • Oh thank you…when is the link up? We would love too. x

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  3. Love how to take “every day things” and explain the science behind. Perfect!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!!


    Post a Reply
    • That’s the whole point of Science Sparks, to show people that Science is in most things we do! Great hey?!

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  4. This is fun and delicious science! I can’t wait to make bread again and use it as a science lesson. Little J and I used to make bread, almost weekly, because it is a fun way to build up hand strength as you knead the bread. (He had a fine motor delay.) I’d love for you to share at the AfterSchool Party.

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    • So glad you liked it!

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  5. So interesting. I need to go through all this with my kids next time we make bread. Thanks for the expertise. When we had cable we used to watch Alton Brown. There is so much science in food, baking, and cooking. It is so interesting. Thanks for linking up to Monday Madness! Hope to see you again tomorrow.

    Post a Reply
  6. I need to make bread again. It’s been so long since I’ve done it.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

    Post a Reply


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