On Saturday we spent some time at my parents’ house with my ten-year-old niece and nephew (they’re step-siblings, not twins). About a month ago I started trying at least one new cooking recipe every weekend, and with the kids over we decided to choose a group recipe and make soft pretzels from scratch.
I made the dough, but the kids got to shape their pretzels and pick whatever seasonings/dip they wanted (Noodle chose cinnamon and sugar for his, while D decided on salt and peanut butter for hers). My brother also came over to join in the fun and he learned a little bit more about baking (which, trust me, he sorely needs). The pics aren’t very good, but I’ll share anyway.
D puts the finishing touches on her pretzel sticks
My brother shapes his dough
This poor pretzel stick didn't make it
Noodle decided to make one giant ugly meta pretzel. It fell apart when it was time for the baking soda bath so I had to reassemble it somewhat while still maintaining its former hideous glory.
The finished goods, while not the prettiest pretzels (although the twists that my husband made came out very well), were pretty yummy!
[A series of five images. The first is of a kitchen counter with several sticks of dough in the foreground and one pretzel shape in the background. A child’s hand fingers one of the sticks. The second image is of a pair of hands rolling a long bit of dough between them. The third image is of the kitchen floor, a piece of dough lying between a bare right foot (my niece) and a booted left foot (my brother). The fourth image shows dough formed into a large misshapen pretzel on the counter. The fifth image is of cooked golden brown pretzels of various shapes and sizes spread out on three cookie sheets.]
It was my first time ever working with yeast, and my first successful baking job using dough (the buttermilk biscuits I attempted a couple of weeks ago were pretty much failures due to adding too much flour), so I feel pretty good about the job that we did.
Edited to add a link to the recipe for soft pretzels. Note that I didn’t use nearly as much flour as the original called for; I started with the wet ingredients and just added flour until the dough was ready. I also substituted the veggie oil with melted butter. And don’t skip the baking soda bath; that’s what gives the pretzels their deep brown color and gives them that “pretzel” flavor instead of just tasting like bread. This recipe was quick, easy, and yummy!