Playdough Time!

Playing with homemade playdough

A few weeks ago, FBB came home with a teacher’s request to make playdough for their class.  (Understandably, with so many kids, they want fresh playdough every week.)  I signed up, and today was our turn to provide the weekly playdough supply.

His teacher provided us with this recipe:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
  • food colouring

This is a no-cooking recipe.  Just combine everything except the food colouring in a mixing bowl, then knead in the food colouring.

I vaguely remember many other recipes I saw online use cream of tartar as well, so I decided to use one of those recipes instead.  Here’s the one I ended up using:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water (I used cold, filtered water)
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp of cream of tartar
  • food colouring

(So basically half of the recipe above, double the water, plus cream of tartar.)

I tripled this recipe, mixed the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, transferred into saucepan, added the liquid, cooked over low heat–and constantly stirring with a silicone spatula–until the texture was right.  Then I divided the dough into three parts for different colours.  (His choice, of course.)

If I were to make this again, I would switch from cold water to warm/hot water.  I would also switch from using food colouring drops to Wilton cake dyes for more intense colours–I used at least 15 drops of red and it was still a long way from the intensity I wanted.

Since FBB’s play dough have long since dried out, he wanted to save some of the fresh dough at home.  To keep the kids (or at least BBM) away from the stove, I set up a playdough playing station with our silicone mat and let them play with the still-warm-to-touch playdough.

Although no one in his class is Celiac/gluten-intolerant, I found the following gluten-free version as well:

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Food colouring

Happy playdough modelling!

[Update] Here’s a better version and instructions I found via The Artful Parent, which I’ll use to make the next batch:

  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2.5 cups salt
  • 3 tbsps cream of tartar
  • 10 tbsps vegetable oil
  • food colouring

Mix water, salt, cream of tartar, and food colouring. [Note: I still prefer to add food colouring at the end, just because I want to make smaller batches of different colours instead of one big batch of a single colour.]  Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until hot.  Add oil.  Stir in flour one cup at a time, stirring in between each addition.  [Note: I’m sure this technique gives better consistency.]  Mix until playdough pulls away from pan and is no longer sticky (pinch it between fingers to test).  Let cool on counter, then knead.

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One response to “Playdough Time!

  1. Pingback: Modelling Dough, Part Deux | Cindy's Kitchen Sink

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