Last week Columbus was hit with a giant ice storm, a storm that left thousands without power and rendered us home bound for two days. With school out and things outside dangerously slippery, R, G and I made homemade soft pretzels while SPH attempted to work from home.
I found homemade soft pretzels the perfect snow (or ice) day activity! The dough is fun to make, and the anticipation of it rising two times helps draw out the fun...a good thing when you are hoping to entertain little ones inside for a full day. Best of all, when the pretzels are complete, you have an absolutely delicious snack to eat.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 cup water (105-115 degrees--just do it by "feel"--hot, but not scalding water from the tap)
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or just use white)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups water
5 teaspoons baking soda
kosher salt for sprinkling
If you have a stand mixer or food processor, mix the water and yeast together and let stand for 5 minutes. While the yeast is dissolving, mix the 4 cups of water and baking soda together in a small sauce pan on the stove for later.
Once the yeast is dissolved, add 2 cups of flour, soft butter, salt and sugar and mix for 2-3 minutes. Add additional 3/4 cup flour and knead for 1 minute.
Touch the dough. Is it sticky? Add a little more flour until the dough is moist but does not stick to your fingers. Place the dough in a bowl, spray the inside of the bowl with some cooking spray and cover to let rise:
(*I did the dough the night before we made the pretzels. After the dough rose, I wrapped it and placed it in the refrigerator for the night. Then, in the morning I took it out to rise again. This gives it extra flavor and allows you to have the dough ready to go for your little one to help.*)
Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down and divide into 12 pieces:
Roll each piece into a 18 inch length, and twist to make into a pretzel shape, or get creative and do whatever shape you would like.
Place on a floured plate while you make the other shapes.
Once the shapes are all completed, let rise another 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Meanwhile, combine the water and baking soda and bring to a boil.
Dunk each pretzel in the boiling water, one at a time, and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each with kosher salt, if desired.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until browned.
Makes 12 pretzels.
We made a few of ours in unique shapes:
Have fun and get creative!