This is our fourth year of homeschooling, and I realized that we didn't have any first day of school traditions other than taking pictures. So this year we started what I hope will become a tradition - making homemade soft pretzels! The kids chose a variety of letters and shapes to pattern their pretzels after and we all had a marvelous time!
Plus this recipe is so simple, you must try it. The pretzels are soft and buttery with a hint of crunch on the outside. Once you eat one, you won't want to stop!
Here's what you need:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 TBSP sugar
2 1/4 teas yeast
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (you can use half wheat if you wish)
2 TBSP melted butter
In a large bowl, mix the water, sugar and yeast. Let proof for a few minutes until puffed up. Then add the flour and salt. Knead together with a mixer or your hands. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Divide the dough into 16 balls. I do this by dividing the dough in half first. Then I divide each of those portions into half. I keep dividing the portions of dough into halves until I have 16 chunks of dough that are roughly the same size. Does that make sense?
Roll each ball into a thin, long rope. Twist into pretzel shapes or whatever shapes you want. Get creative! Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let these rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Brush with butter again while warm.
If you'd like a sweet pretzel instead of salty, use cinnamon sugar instead of salt. But be warned, you'll really have a hard time not eating the whole batch.