Yummy Soft Pretzels
We make these pretzels at least once every couple of weeks when the weather turns cool. Creativity, enhancing mathematical skills, fresh warm bread... what's not to love about that combo?
How We Did It
We usually gather all of our supplies first, along with our measuring spoons and cups. And we do a lot of talking about proper measurements; "D'you remember how to make 3/4?"
The package (or 2.25 tsp) yeast gets added to a cup of very warm water.
Measure the dry ingredients--2.5 cups flour, a teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt--and sift them together.
When the yeast is dissolved, stir the water and yeast mixture into the flour mixture. When it's mixed a bit, turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead.
And then another pair of little floured hands can take a turn--knead the dough for five minutes total.
Lightly dust the dough with flour, and set it in a bowl. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave it for 30 minutes. Lightly oil your work surface with oil. When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl, and divide the dough into eight pieces. "Can you divide this in half? And now half again? And this one in half, too?"
...and let your imagination fly! Today we had a monkey, the letters M, T, S, and E, a rhinoceros, a pretzel, and a guitar!
Butter your cookie sheet. When your pretzels are shaped, give them a quick dip in a bowl of water, then place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle course or kosher salt over the ones you'd like salted. Preheat the oven to 450f, and let the pretzels rest and rise for ten minutes.
Put your pretzels in the oven and bake for 9-11 minutes, until golden. While they're baking, melt some butter, and mix a bit of cinnamon and sugar together for those that like 'em sweet. Upon taking them out of the oven, brush butter over your beautiful pretzels, and serve them warm. Yum yum, it's no wonder that these pretzels are a favorite around these parts!