Thursday, January 31, 2013

Salt Dough

Salt Dough Shapes
So this isn't necessarily an edible recipe (although you could eat it, but it wouldn't taste good), but it's something fun from my childhood and definitely a fun activity to do with children. It's definitely domestic!

My mom use to make salt dough for us growing up. We would roll it out and cut it into shapes or form it into things. We would bake it and then paint to our heart's desire. It was one of my favorite things. I loved to make homemade ornaments, paint them and give the out as Christmas gifts.

I wanted to carry on this tradition for my children. My daughter loves when we make Salt Dough. This dough is so versatile. You can make a batch and use different colors of food coloring or you can leave it white. This last time we made it, we wanted to leave it white so that my daughter could paint it. If you don't want to bake and paint them, you can make different colors and play with it like Play Dough. Just make sure you leave it in an airtight container or plastic bag in between uses. I've noticed that when I leave dough in a plastic bag that it gets a little soggy. Just remove and add a little bit of flour and knead until dough goes back to regular consistency. This recipe also makes A LOT of dough. Depending on what we want to do with it, I usually make a half batch. If you want to make several different colors of dough, do a whole batch.

Last month, as a surprise for our anniversary, my parents helped my oldest make some ornaments. They rolled the dough out, cut them out into shapes and baked them. After baking and cooling, they let her color on them with markers and put a picture of each of my children on them and then sealed them with some Mod Podge with glitter. They gave them to us as an anniversary gift from our kids. They were such treasures. It will most definitely be a yearly tradition we do so that we have annual pictures of our family on our Christmas tree.

Here's what you need:

-1 C fine salt (I just use regular table salt)
-3 C white flour
-1 1/2 C water

1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature (170 degrees on my oven). Combine salt and flour into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.


2. Stir until mixture forms a ball. If you want colored dough add a few drops of food coloring at this point. Remove ball from bowl and knead for a couple minutes until ingredients (and coloring) are thoroughly incorporated.

Salt Dough

3. Roll out dough to about 1/8 in. thick. Use cookie cutters, pizza or pastry cutter to make shapes. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you want to make ornaments, take a straw and poke a whole in the dough so that you can hang it. Once all your shapes are on the baking sheet, bake on the lowest temperature overnight or for 4-6 hrs. After 4 hrs, feel and see of the dough feels soft. If so, continue baking. Once they look more white and hard to the touch, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

She loved rolling out the dough!
Kids love this stuff!

4. Once cooled, you can paint them, use markers, glitter, etc. to decorate them. If you want to put a picture on them, do that now. Seal the ornament with a thin coat of Mod Podge. Allow to dry completely. Use baking twine, yarn, hemp cord or whatever you have on-hand to use for hanging. You can also string several shapes together to make a cute banner to hang for the holidays. We also like making bugs, snakes, etc. to decorate. Just use your creativity and imagination.

Here's the printable recipe.

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

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