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For the second round of the Great Pinterest Playdough Throwdown, I tried a pretty basic recipe (courtesy of the blog adeylnSTONE), which may actually be the recipe I tried the first time I made playdough (though I thought that one called for more cream of tartar; no matter). I like using Kool-Aid as a coloring agent because it’s so cheap and it gives your finished dough a great small, unlike the Jello dough I tried in the first round, which I will still make again some day with a different flavor to see if it still smells.
This version I liked because it’s fast — mine was on the stove less than 5 minutes — but there are things I didn’t like, which we’ll get to.
First, the recipe.
What You’ll Need
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- pack of Kool-Aid or food coloring to taste (please don’t actually taste it. Yuck!)
- pot, wooden spoon, waxed paper and a tiny bit more flour
- storage vessel of your choice
What You’ll Do
- Dump all ingredients into a pot. Stir.
- Put over heat (I started out at medium and went down to low after a couple of minutes) and cook, stirring, until dough forms.
- Put on lightly floured waxed paper and, either now or after it’s cooled a bit, work in a bit of flour as you knead the dough into a more uniform ball. I probably used just a couple of teaspoons; this dough does not take a lot of extra flour.
- Allow to cool and put in storage container of your choice.
I used orange Kool-Aid, which made the dough smell great but didn’t result in as bold a color as I’d expected (I’ve dyed yarn with orange Kool-Aid before and it at least seemed brighter). The Jello definitely wins on color saturation.
For ease, this dough wins. I don’t know if mixing before putting on the heat made a difference, or starting out at higher heat or what, but this was on the stove less than 5 minutes, while the other one at least seemed to take a lot longer (though, honestly, I didn’t time it). It may have been the fault of my use of higher heat, but this one also seemed to leave more of a mess in the pot that took longer to clean up. So the time thing may be a wash.
In terms of the texture, I like the Jello dough better, and I’ll tell you why: almost as soon as this dough was cool it started drying out. It had only been made for a couple of hours when I came back to it and it was already dry on top. This could be remedied by playing with it, but doesn’t give me high hopes for its staying power.
It was also a little crubmly right out fo the gate and had a more rubbery texture than your average from-the-store stuff. The Jello dough is much softer and closer in feel to the real deal.
So, after two rounds the Jello dough is a clear favorite. I have at least one more to try: a no-cook version courtesy of a local mom. We’ll see how it compares next week!