Monday, December 15, 2008

Bread and cake science!

Have decided to take the easy option next year and use the Krampf science emails for the children's science work! This week's one was all about hygroscopics.

Ben baked a yummy cake to enable us to do the experiment! I'm quite impressed by Ben and Katie's abilities to make good food without any (or very little) assistance.

Anyway, we used a piece of fresh sliced bread and a piece of freshly baked and buttercreamed Victoria Sponge and put them out in the airy kitchen for a short while. Both were springy to the touch to start with but after 15 mins, the bread began to go alittle hard around the edges (whereas the cake remained edible). After a good hour or so, the bread was well and truly ready for the ducks outside, but the cake continued to be edible and became too irresitable to remain on its plate!

The cake, containing more sugar than a slice of bread, was absorbing moisture from the air resulting in a softer texture, even after an hour. The bread, with little sugar (or maybe even none), lost it's moisture through evaporation. The same thing happens with salt. I think we'll extend this little experiment a bit further by putting out small bowls of sugar and salt to watch them form clumps when left out to suck up moisture.

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