Posted by: little sprout creations
April 16, 2011
We just finished up an epic two weeks of birthday countdown for my 2 year old Leah. Instead of doing one giant day of presents and fun (which leaves her feeling overwhelmed and exhausted) we decided to spread the fun over the two weeks leading up to her birthday. Each day had a fun small gift (jewelry, art supplies, play-doh) or a fun activity (trip to the aquarium, trip to the farm, lunch date). Day 12 was hot pretzel making together while her baby sister was napping. We don’t get a lot of one-on-one time, so it’s fun to make it a really special time when we do. As an added bonus, this treat is low sugar – so nice in the midst of birthday cake, cupcakes, and soon-to-fill-our-home easter candy. And as you can see above, it’s easy to make these pretzels even more fun by making fun shapes, or by adding some color if you’re a rainbow lover like we are!
This recipe came to me from my mother-in-law, who cut it out of a Fleishmann’s Yeast ad, and perfected it with love. And then my lazy baker tendencies changed it a bit more. The recipe below is our recipe (which is far enough from the original that I’m not even going to bother including the original.)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package RAPID RISE yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1. Mix 1 cup flour + sugar, salt and yeast.
2. Combine melted butter and warm water and add to flour mixture. Stir with big wooden spoon (or use a stand mixer, but we love using our hands!)
3. Add and stir enough flour in to make a soft, but not sticky dough. It’s better to err on the side of too soft.
4. Knead on a floured board, adding in more flour as needed to make it not sticky.
5. Knead. Knead. Knead. The more you knead, the better these will be. We usually try to knead for about 5 minutes total.
6. Cover the dough with a towel and let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Perfect amount of time to wash your bowls and put away your ingredients. Or to sing “Take me out to the Ballgame” about 10 times. Your choice.
7. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a thin rope/snake. See our pictures for a step by step on making the traditional pretzel shape, or make your own! Letters, numbers, shapes – it’s up to you and your assistant! Leah loves to pretend that store bought pretzels are glasses, so we made a pretzel this time that looked even more like glasses! She loved it 🙂 (We experimented with rolling the dough and cutting with a cookie cutter, but the result was more of a pretzel chip at the end.)
8. Cover dough shapes with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. I usually heat my oven up to 200, and then turn it off when I’m close to putting the dough in.
9. Mix egg yolk, water, and any food coloring that you might like. As a side note, the recent food dye concerns led me to seek out some natural food coloring – we didn’t use it for this project, but plan to in the next couple of weeks, and will report back on our findings!
10. Brush on egg yolk/water/color mixture, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. We like ours a bit more done, but it’s up to you.
11. Cool and enjoy!