Pretzels

I homeschooled our children for a few years. Many of our lessons took place in the kitchen, of course. I found that I could combine math, reading and social studies into one lesson. Making pretzels was one such lesson that combined all those elements. I would often make my kids double or half a recipe. This made them practice their fractions. Of course reading skills came with reading the recipe, and when they were younger I would have them twist their pretzel into different letters, spelling words. The social studies lesson was always my favorite part. I would have them research the origins of the food, find the country on the map and learn about the history involved with the food. Pretzels have an long, rich history, in both Europe and America. I miss those lessons. Especially the food we created together. It's never too early to start baking with your kids.

Baking With Kids: Pretzels
Tools Needed
Cookie sheet (Fat Daddio's CS)
Silicone Baking Mat (Fat Daddio's SM)
Mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
 
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
1 packet active instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface to knead 
1 large egg, beaten
sea salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F . Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact - use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish - the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  4. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, or seeds.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (will lose softness). Pretzels freeze well.
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
 
For more inspiration, visit our Pinterest boards.