Math in Our World: Baking Bread

Sophia loves to bake. She’s been doing a lot of baking lately. Her measuring cups are dirty. Only the ½-cup, ⅓-cup, and 1-tablespoon measures are clean. She wants to bake wheat bread.

Measuring cups: 1-half cup and 1-third cup.

This is her recipe:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 packages yeast
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  1. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what is happening.
  2. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  3. What math questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!
  • Draw a picture to show how many ½ cups would it take to make 1 cup.
  • Draw another picture to show how many ⅓ cups it would take to make 1 cup.
  • What ingredients can you measure with the ½ cup?
  • What ingredients can you measure with the ⅓ cup?
  • Draw pictures to show the measurements.
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

Sophia doesn’t want to use the ⅓ measuring cup if she doesn't have to. It’s just another dish to wash. Is it possible for her to measure the water, honey, bread flour, and wheat flour using just the ½-cup? Show how she could do it or why she can’t do it.