Pacific County kids learned how to knead — and helped people in need — at a county-wide bread-baking event on Nov. 17.

Sponsored by the Washington State University Extension and 4-H programs, the “Bake Across Pacific County” event coincided with National Family Volunteer Day. Leaders from local 4-H programs set up bread-baking workshops at nine locations around the county.

During the free three-hour classes, kids used supplies provided by local sponsors to follow a simple recipe for “Bread in a Bag.” With gentle guidance from parents and volunteers, they measured the ingredients into gallon-sized freezer bags, added warm water, and then zipped the bags shut before kneading. The method contains the mess that keeps some people from making their own bread, volunteers explained.

Most of the students had never baked bread before, but some were able to use skills they developed with other baking projects. Emily Herzberg, 11, said she felt comfortable measuring and mixing on her own because she has made cookies before. Other kids were baking for the first time.

After mixing up one batch for themselves and one to donate to local food pantries, the students took their bread dough home to rise. At their houses, they punched it down, let it rise a second time and put it in the oven to bake.

The event was popular — The group in Ocean Park ran out of ingredients by about noon, because 17 kids showed up to make bread. A few adults joined in the fun too. Elena Righettini said she frequently volunteers at 4-H events, but on Saturday, she was making bread in a bag alongside the kids.

“I’m a wanna-be bread-maker,” Righettini joked. She said she liked the convenience of making it inside a bag. “I don’t make it very often, but I certainly will because of this,” she said.

Volunteers later delivered extra loaves to food banks in Ocean Park and other parts of the county.

Natalie St. John is a staff writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact her at 360-642-8181 or nstjohn@chinookobserver.com.

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