Kick off your Thanksgiving activities with an edible kitchen science activity for kids. What does Thanksgiving remind you of? Of course, I think of delicious goodies and a hearty Thanksgiving meal. But there’s always room for a side of STEM! Between pumpkins and cranberries, physics, and chemistry, this bread in a bag activity for kids is a great way to develop math, science, and fine motor skills! Plus, it tastes fantastic!

Bread in a bag recipe that makes amazing homemade bread.Pin

Explore Kitchen Science For Thanksgiving

This season we have a different kind of menu over here. A STEMs-Giving menu filled with fun and simple Thanksgiving science experiments and activities that kids will love.

Make the most of the Thanksgiving holiday and share making bread in a bag with your kids at home or in the classroom. Explore how yeast works in bread and share a delicious treat at the end with our easy bread in a bag recipe.

From toddlers to teenagers, everyone loves a fresh slice of homemade bread, and using a zip-top bag is perfect for tiny hands to help squish and knead.

You can also use the same type of yeast for this exothermic reaction.

More Fun Edible Science Ideas

Bread Science In The Classroom

Ask these questions to get kids thinking…

  • What do you know about making bread?
  • What would you like to learn about bread?
  • What ingredients are in bread and how do you make it?
  • What do you think makes the bread rise?
  • How do you think yeast works in bread?

The Science of Baking Bread

How does yeast work in making bread? Well, yeast is actually a living, single-cell fungus! Hmm don’t sound too tasty, does it?

Although there are several kinds of yeast out there, our bread in a bag recipe below uses an active dry yeast that you can find in little packets in the grocery store. This type of yeast is also dormant until you “wake it up”.

Yeast needs to be combined with warm water and a food source, sugar, to wake up and do its thing. The sugar feeds the yeast and creates the fermentation process.

If you notice bubbles forming, that’s carbon dioxide gas given off by the yeast as it’s eating the sugar. These carbon dioxide bubbles are also what causes the dough to rise as air pockets are trapped in the glutinous strands of the dough.

When you cook the bread the yeast dies off so your kiddos will be relieved to know that they are not eating a side of a fungus with their bread. Cooking bread is a good example of a chemical change!

Click here to get your FREE Edible Science Guide


Bread In A Bag Recipe


  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 .25oz Packet rapid rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

How To Make Bread In A Bag

STEP 1. Before you start, open up your zip top bag and place it in a large bowl.


STEP 2. Scoop 1 cup flour into a large zip top bag, with 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 .25 oz packet of rapid rise yeast, and 1 cup of warm water.


STEP 3. Let the air out of the bag, then seal the bag closed and mix from the outside of the bag with your hands. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.

The warm water and sugar will activate the yeast. Read more about the science of bread making further on.


STEP 4. Now open the bag and add 1 cup of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Seal the bag, and mix again.


STEP 5. Add 1 more cup of flour, seal, and mix again.

STEP 6. Remove the dough from the bag and knead for 10 minutes on a piece of floured parchment paper to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.


STEP 7. Cover with a warm damp hand towel for 30 minutes.

STEP 8. Place in a greased bread pan and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Now it’s time to enjoy delicious hot bread! But first, you will want to whip up homemade butter in a jar to go with your bread in a bag!

cooked breadPin

More Fun Kitchen Science Activities

Printable Thanksgiving STEM Activities Pack

STEMS-Giving Pack! A full menu of Thanksgiving dinner science activities, secret codes, and more!

What’s Included:

  • STEMS-Giving! A feast of science and STEM with simple experiments and projects for home or classroom!
  • Even More Thanksgiving theme STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials and perfect for limited time needs. Includes a Thanksgiving theme engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
  • Got STEAM? Try a turkey in a disguise challenge with writing prompts and more! Also color by code turkeys in disguise!
  • Try your hand at building shapes with cranberry structure challenge cards.
  • Discover Thanksgiving brick-building challenges perfect for early finishers, quiet time, hands-on math, or family time.


  1. This came out very dense, more like a quick bread. I think it needs a second rise.

  2. I need made this with my son (3), and we had fun! I completely missed the second to last step, though, about covering for 30 minutes with a damp towel. Did I completely screw it up? 🙁

  3. We are newly gluten free. Does anyone know if this might work with a gluten free all purpose flour?

  4. Hi Caroline, I’m not sure, to be honest with you. However, if you’re up for a good experiment… It might be fun. Maybe someone else will have a good answer. I’m not a strong baaker!

  5. Any gluten free bread is way more dense. so it will not be super fluffy. it is always worth a try. My daughter has been gluten and egg free for just over a year and I am sill figuring it out. I have learned that it does not need as much kneading. Kneading is to build up the gluten and with none in the flour it gets a lot harder to mix. so the yeast wont rise as much. You can try adding a little extra sugar for the yeast to feed on.

  6. Hi Leslie, I’m sure you can experiment but this isn’t a recipe website. We are simply showing a classic science experiment vs baking bread.

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