By Lorraine Roulston:
Hobby Dough craft is a great fun thing for the kids to do during the holiday. It can be prepared and kept soft in an airtight plastic bag.
Preparation: 10 minutes. Baking: 2 hours or overnight air dry. Makes: About 3 cups (750mL). Freezing: Not recommended.
Combine baking soda and flour in a sauce pan. Add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is the consistency of moist mashed potatoes. Turn out on a plate, cover with a damp cloth. Let cool. Knead until smooth, about 2 minutes, then use to create your personal gifts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
ORNAMENTS: Roll out dough between waxed paper to 1/4” (5mm) thickness, cut with cookie cutters, small knife or shape forms freehand. To join pieced together, moisten and press to seal. For hanging ornaments, cut hole in top of decoration with a straw. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 325oF (160oC) for 1-2 hours, or let air dry. If you choose to bake in the oven, let dough cool gradually in oven to reduce any chance of cracking. Time will vary with size of pieces. Paint as desired, then apply with a varnish to preserve. Add a colorful ribbon for hanging. Gingerbread men, holly and candy canes are festive. Use your imagination to create more.
COLORING TIPS: Color may be added as the dough is being made, or pieces may be painted after they are completely dry. For solid color, add a few drops of food coloring to the water before mixing. For a marbled effect, sprinkle a small amount of dye powder on a ball of soft dough and knead it in lightly. For bright, glossy colors, paint hardened pieces with water colors, poster paints, or a felt-tip pen. Allow to dry thoroughly before finishing.