Best Play Dough Recipe
WHAT YOU NEED: large glass bowl, food coloring, 2 cups water, 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 teaspoon alum, 1 teaspoon 20 Mule Team Borax, 1 tablespoon corn oil, frying pan, wooden spoon, cutting board, Ziploc storage bag or airtight container.
WHAT TO DO:
1. In the bowl, combine the water and fifty drops of food coloring. Then add the flour, salt, alum, borax, and corn oil. Mix well.
2. With adult supervision, cook and stir over medium heat for three minutes (or until the mixture holds together). Turn onto the cutting board and knead to proper consistency. Store in the Ziploc bag or airtight container.
WHAT HAPPENS: The alum and borax prevent bacteria from turning the thick, colored dough sour.
WHY IT WORKS: The patent for Play-Doh puts it this way: “We are unable to state definitely the theory upon which this process operates, because the reactions taking place in the mass are complicated.” Basically, your dough is a mixture that thickens and clumps upon cooking. Why is this? Well, when your play dough is heated, the starch in the flour undergoes gelatinization, or thickening, in the presence of water. This is a result of the hydrogen bonding between the starch and water molecules.