Monday, May 30, 2011

The Grand Play-Dough Experiment: Baking Soda Play-Dough

This week I completed our evaluation of the Traditional Play-Dough recipe. Why it's called "traditional" I'm not sure because I had never seen a recipe similar to this one. It's just baking soda, cornstarch, water, and food coloring. Most recipes that I consider traditional are salt doughs, but that's just quibbling. ;)

Adding in the recipe here, since there are no guarantees that the link will work forever:

Traditional Play-dough

2 cups of baking soda
1 and a half cups of water
1 cup of corn starch

Mix with a fork until the mixture is smooth and boil until thick. Takes about 4 minutes.

It was super easy to make: just mix the cornstarch and baking soda (Note: I did a half recipe since we don't need a boatload of play-dough).
 Add water, mix well, add food coloring. My daughter requested orange play-dough (her current favorite color), so orange it was!
 Warm over medium heat until it boils. It will heat VERY quickly, I wasn't prepared for that and almost burned it. It came together extremely quickly. It took fewer than 5 minutes from mixing the water in and starting heating to the picture below.

I kneaded it and loved the texture, but I also noticed lots of residue left on my work surface:
 And that the play-dough's surface seems to dry out easily:
The drying slowed down as the play-dough cooled.

Summary of initial impressions:
-very easy and quick to make
-boiled at a low temp, make sure to not burn it!
-nice texture
-unusual ingredients
-outside dries out while sitting
-leaves a heavy residue on play surface that is tough to clean
-don't think it's going to last long

Week later:
-Nice and soft
-Kind of wet, but that may be from storing it away while it was still warm
-Leaves a LOT of residue; I feel like I have to wash my hands almost as soon as starting to play with it.
-Surface dries out a bit but not nearly as badly as at first (more humid day?)

Looking good so far! I am surprised, but pleased.

Almost two weeks later:
-It molded! Gah!!!! Nasty! Guess I either stored it wrong or it was just too moist. The recipe contains no specific storage instructions, but this might be one of the play-doughs that needs to be stored in the fridge.

Gross, gross, gross!! Into the garbage!

Final verdict: I do not plan to make this play-dough again. It left too much residue to be easy to clean up after, it still dried out a bit which just isn't nice to feel, and then it molded!


Other posts in the Grand Play-Dough Experiment Series:
Kool Aid Play-Dough
Coffee Play-Dough
Gingerbread Play-Dough

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