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How Do I Make Cream of Tartar Playdough?

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  • Written By: Mary Ellen Popolo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2014
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Cream of tartar playdough can be made at home by following a recipe that uses common grocery items like flour, water, and cream of tartar. Homemade playdough is inexpensive, easy to make, non-toxic, and edible, which makes it safe for young children to play with. There are several recipes for cream of tartar playdough, and all of the available approaches are simple enough to be followed by someone with little or no cooking experience. The method you choose for making the dough is a matter of personal preference.

The ingredients needed to make a basic cream of tartar playdough are 2 cups (256 grams) of all-purpose flour, 1 (201 grams) cup of salt, 1 cup (237 milliliters) of water, 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon (3 grams) of cream of tartar. Mix the ingredients together in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the dough thickens to a playdough consistency. Allow the dough to cool thoroughly before using.

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For a microwavable cream of tartar playdough recipe place 1 cup (128 grams) of all-purpose flour, 0.5 cup (100 grams) of salt, 1 cup (237 milliliters) of water, 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons (6 grams) of cream of tartar in a large microwave safe bowl or container. Place the bowl into the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Remove and mix thoroughly. If the dough is not pliable, return to the microwave and reheat at 10 second intervals. Let the mixture cool before handling.

To create homemade playdough without any cooking, use the same ingredients as for the microwavable playdough recipe. Place the ingredients into a large bowl and knead with your hands until the mixture is well blended, soft and pliable. A mixer with a dough hook can also be used to mix the ingredients.

Creating colors for playdough is one of the best parts of making homemade cream of tartar playdough. To add color to the dough add food coloring to the water and stir before adding it to the other ingredients. Unsweetened powdered drink mixes can also be used in lieu of food coloring and should also be added to the water before the water is added to the remaining ingredients. Combining two or more colors of powdered drink mix or food coloring can create fun and interesting colors.

Playdough should be stored in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag to keep it soft and pliable. Keeping it refrigerated is another option to keep the dough fresh. Just take it out a few minutes before playtime to let it soften up a bit. If playdough hardens or shows sign of mold or mildew it should be thrown away.

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