Saturday, August 25, 2012

Making Play Dough

I volunteered to make playdough for the bear cub's preschool class the Friday before last.  The teacher finally emailed me the recipe they wanted me to use yesterday and the bear cub's first day is Monday.  I was a little upset about her sending it to me so close to school starting until I found out how incredibly easy and wonderful it is to make.  I didn't take pictures of the process and I sort of wish I did because it is pretty cool how the liquid turns into dough.

Anyway, here is the final product.  Each bag is over 5 cups of playdough.

And of course, you want the recipe, because I think it's so much fun to do.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. of cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • food coloring 
Directions:
  • Add the food coloring to the water.
  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan.
  • Cook slowly on medium to high heat and stir until the playdough thickens. 
I made a few changes.  I added the food coloring after the dough was finished and used Kosher salt since I didn't have enough regular salt for even one batch.  Since the water I used was hot and we were cooking it, I figured that chemically it didn't matter as it would dissolve.  It takes just a few minutes for the dough to thicken.  You'll want to take it out of the pan to cool as soon as it thickens or it will continue to cook and you may have a dryer dough.

For the color (this is mostly for my future reference), I used Wilton gel food coloring.
For Red: A lot of it.  Probably half a container of the Christmas Red to get a vibrancy I liked ~1/4 ounce
Orange: 3 ml Orange
Yellow: 1ml Golden Yellow
Green: 2 ml Kelly Green
Blue:  3 ml Royal Blue
Purple: 2 ml violet + 3 ml Burgundy

My mom asked me if how much cheaper it was to make it vs. buying the same amount of PlayDoh.  I figure it is at least 36 regular sized jars of PlayDoh which would cost about 36 dollars to make.  Making it myself cost 12 cups of flour (~$5), 12 Tbsp of cooking oil (~$.50), 6 tsp of Cream of Tartar (~$2.00), 6 cups salt ($1), and the food coloring ($1.50 as I bought it at Michaels with a 50% off coupon and used very little other than the red) so $10, but really probably less as I overestimated on all these prices.  If I make it for the girls, as I surely will, I'll be making a batch, separating it into 6 pieces and coloring them individually.  

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