OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR FINISHING Mix together flour, salt, and alum. With a big wooden spoon, slowly stir in the water, oil, coloring, and scent. Keep mixing until the dough follows the spoon around the bowl and then knead with your hands until smooth. The initial kneading will only take a minute or two to get the dough going and to make it pliable. After that you will knead as you work into smaller pieces and the dough will stay soft.
Store dough in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will remain in good condition for up to 4 weeks. Let it warm to room temperature before using.
: Generously flour the work surface and pinch off just enough dough to mold with. Leave the rest in a plastic bag until needed.
Fill a small bowl with water to use as glue when you want to stick pieces together.
: When you have made an item you want to keep, place it on a floured cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 250 degrees fo at least an hour. Baking time varies considerably depending on the thickness of the object. It's a good idea to check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the thickest part of the item. If you think your ornaments aore getting too brown, cover them with aluminum foil, turn down the oven, and compensate by cooking a bit longer.
: After the item is completely dry, you can paint ti with acrylic paints and then either paint it with shellac or spray it with several coats of acrylic fixative.
: This dough is used quite successfully for creating homey-looking Christmas ornaments. When my kids were little, I helped them make their own creations each year for the tree and now I treasure these ornaments.
: Try helping children create their own handprints by outstretching their hands shile you carefully cut around their fingers with a dull paring knife. Or they can press their handprints into a plaque-size circle of dough.
: All sorts of kitchen implements can be used to gi e interesting textures to the dough. By far the most interesting effects can be created by forcing the dough through a garlic press.
The resulting threads can be used for a bird's nest, hair, animal fur, and of course, spaghetti. Just remember to "glue" the strands together with water as you go. Add teeny little eggs to a nest or roll out some meatballs for a bowl of spaghetti.
: Another natural creation for Baker's Craft dough is to make a bread basket, bagel, or pretend muffins out of it. To make a basket, roll out and cut thick strips of dough. Drape several, close together, across and inverted, heavily floured loaf pan or baking dish. Weave strips in the opposes direction through the original ones. Create a lattice work design and finish off the edges as if you were creating a fancy pie. Bake your creation, pan and all, in the oven and lift the basket off the pan when it is completely cool.
: A rolling pin is extremely useful for flattening the dough, but if you have many little hands around the table at once, cans of soup or veggies will work just as well.
: You can finish the smaller items by coating them with clear nail polish. Or try brushing them with evaporated milk if you want your creations to look brown and golden, like baked goods.
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