This is an especially fun activity for preschoolers, but kids of all ages get in the spirit when it comes to making homemade pretzels! I clipped this recipe from a Family Fun magazine years ago, and made it with the kids in our homeschool co-op while teaching a food pyramid unit on grains. It was a hit! Also, it’s a no-rise dough, so kids don’t have to wait long to taste their handiwork!
I made them again today for my niece’s 18th birthday party–she loves pretzels and her mom threw a birthday party complete with many appetizers and our family’s favorite cake, the sensational Chocolate Cream Roll.
Heat oven to 425*F, and line two cookie sheets with foil. I prefer airbake cookie sheets for this recipe, because the bottoms darken fast on any other kind.
- 1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 TB sugar (divided)
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 4 TB butter, melted
- 1 TB cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the salt, honey, and 1 TB of the sugar and stir well. With an electric mixer, thoroughly blend in the flour at low, then medium speed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth for about 5 minutes (I just switch out the beater for the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid). Divide the dough into 16 roughly equal pieces, then roll each into a 10-12 inch-long rope. On the foil-lined baking sheets, shape each rope into a letter, number or other design (when making your patterns, remember that the dough will expand a little when it’s cooked). It’s fun to let the kids spell their names, or whatever letters/phonograms they’re learning in school.
Bake the dough shapes for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and remaining 4 TB sugar. Now, leaving the pretzels on the foil, brush them with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top, or you can brush with butter and sprinkle with coarse salt instead. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and reheat them before eating. Makes 16 pretzels.