Getting the kids in the kitchen today with this basic and yet oh so fun homemade soft pretzel recipe. Because really, who doesn’t love a soft pretzel. We love working with edible doughs that can be shaped and played with. What a super fun way to motivate kids to bake. We also learned what happens when you add baking soda to boiling water (hint : be careful).
How to Make Soft Pretzels
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour (may need up to 3 cups)
* to make whole wheat pretzels use 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cup white all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup baking soda
8 cups water
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup bagel salt (or, kosher salt/sea salt)
1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer or in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Watch for little bubbles to pop onto the surface of the water. After 5 minutes, stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
2. Stir in the flour and salt. Knead the dough on low for 5 minutes in a stand mixer, or knead by hand for 5-7 minutes. After kneading for 2 minutes, if the dough is very sticky add a bit more flour (1 tbsp at a time).
4. Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and grease the bowl with 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Place the ball of dough inside the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise – at least 1 hour. We set our bowl on top of our dishwasher, that had just finished running. The surface was nice and warm. Place your bowl in a warm location; top of the fridge, top of the stove, top shelf in the kitchen.
Once the dough has doubled in size (after an hour) remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into 8 portions.
Roll each portion into a snake of dough, about 20 inches long. If the dough springs back when you roll it out, let it sit for a moment and then try again.
In the meantime, bring a high sided pot filled with 8 cups of water to a boil. Once the water boils, turn it down to a soft boil and add the baking soda. ** Watch out! As soon as you add the baking soda to the boiling water, the water will bubble and potentially boil over – I know, this is exactly what happened to us – use a stock pot for the boiling of the bagels **
Drop the bagels into the boiling water, don’t over fill the pot with bagels. Let them boil for 30 seconds then turn them over and boil for another 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake in 450°F oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
This was a really fun recipe to make with my daughter. Shaping the pretzel dough was the same as working with play dough – which kids love to do. The bubbling pot of boiling water was quite the adventure, too! We learned about the difference between a bagel and a pretzel. The first batch we made, I forgot to add the baking soda to the boiling water – thus, we made bagels. Pretzels require the use of an alkaline water bath. Who knew!?
All in all soft pretzels (and pretzel bagels) are delicious and a fantastic recipe to make with kids. It does require a good amount of patience in the beginning, but once the pretzels are shaped you only have to wait a few minutes to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Today’s post is part of the Cooking With Kids blog hop being hosted by Crafty Kids At Home. Be sure to head over and check out the other delicious kid friendly recipes being shared.
Bake a lovely loaf of Irish Soda Bread
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