Making soft pretzels is one of my favorite kitchen activities with my kids. The dough is so simple to make, and my kids have so much fun rolling, twisting and braiding their own pretzel creations. We recently spent a rainy afternoon up to our elbows in flour. Yes it can be a messy process, but the end results were soft and chewy pretzels and, best of all, lots of time with my little ones.
Start by mixing together your pretzel dough. This classic recipe uses two cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast all mixed with a wooden spoon in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Heat the water over medium-high heat until it reads 120° to 130° degrees. I use an instant-read thermometer to make sure that it is the right temperature. Add the warm water and oil to the flour mixture.
Beat on low for one minute, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute longer.
Stir in enough flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is soft and leaves the side of the bowl. Don’t worry if it’s on the sticky side—that’s normal!
Sprinkle your countertop with flour and knead the dough for five minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Move your oven rack to the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 425°. Make the pretzel wash by stirring one cup of water and baking soda together.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces.
Have fun rolling each piece into a 24-inch rope.
To make pretzel shape, form rope into a circle, crossing ends at top. Fold dough so crossed ends rest on bottom of circle.
Brush the pretzels with the pretzel wash (a great task for little hands!). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
Brush with wash again and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy with your family’s favorite mustard or dipping sauce.