I love baking with the kids! Cookies, breads, cakes… all of it. Baking gives them many opportunities for them to actually do the work. It is fun to let them get their hands dirty and create something delicious. It is also a good opportunity for me to practice, letting go!
One of our more recent favorites is Soft Pretzels. The kids help with the mixing, the kneading and have a great time making the pretzel shapes after I get them rolled out.
We have made them now three times… the first time following this recipe exactly. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buttery-Soft-Pretzels/Detail.aspx
They were delicious, but then I started reading the comments, where there are always good hints on tweaking the recipe. This is the version we have landed on and loved! If you have your own favorite pretzel recipe I would love it if you would share it… we love to try new things!
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
4 cups of flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the melted butter and yeast mixture.
Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each
piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the
baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.
After they are baked, we brush them with melted butter and sprinkle a couple of them with powdered sugar mixed with cinnamon for an extra special kitchen helper treat!