Over the weekend, we were looking for an activity for the kids, and, as per usual, about the only thing I could come up with was to entertain them in the kitchen. We had just read Walter the Baker, and I got the bright idea to have the kids make pretzels for their morning snack.
It kinda worked. The kids weren’t so good at rolling out the ropes – probably a direct result of my low tolerance for playdoh and the attendant messes it invariably makes (Whatever. If they don’t grow up to have master baking skills, I won’t cry about that). But they did eventually get into it, and seemed to enjoy the shaping parts of the process anyway.
This recipe makes six soft buttery pretzels – the kind you might get at the mall. As long as you don’t dump cinnamon and sugar on them, they make a reasonable snack.
- 2 teaspoons (one packet) active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 /2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2 cups hot water
Proof the yeast by dissolving it along with ½ tsp sugar in the warm water. Let sit until foamy.
Meanwhile, in a mixer fitted with a hook attachment, mix flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add butter and yeast mixture, and mix for 8 – 10 minutes, until ball is well formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
Preheat oven to 450. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and set in a shallow pan. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a rope. Form pretzels. When finished, dip pretzel in baking soda solution (this will help you get that nice pretzel color), and place on a baking sheet. You can add salt here, if you want some for the top. Bake 6 – 8 minutes.
I coated mine with melted butter when they came out of the oven.