We’ve got more 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen fun and I am really excited about today’s recipe! It was not only delicious but ended up being a really great cooking project with the kiddos!
I have been in love with Amish-style pretzels since I was a young girl visiting Amish country with my family. I have to admit that the commercialization of these pretzels in the mall is totally fine by me because I don’t have to travel to Pennsylvania Dutch country to get my pretzel fix! My kids are as equally enamored with Amish pretzels as I am, so I decided it would be something they might be excited to make in the kitchen. Keep reading to find out how we chose our recipe for homemade Amish pretzels, how it went and tips for making it with different aged kids! Plus, of course, the recipe itself!
Why We Chose the Recipe: Homemade Amish Pretzels 1 of 5
I love Amish pretzels as much as my kids do, so I knew that if we were successful with our pretzel-making attempts that we'd all enjoy the final product. The kids were very excited with the prospect of making their own pretzels and couldn't wait to make them with me. Baking recipes always work great with kids because there is so much measuring and counting involved, but I also thought shaping the pretzels would be fun (as long as it wasn't a total disaster!).
I read through tons of different pretzel recipes and ended up cobbling together a recipe based on what I read in several different recipes and from this video tutorial by Jay Stewart of Auntie Anne's pretzels. Since I had never made these before, the kids loved watching and learning about the process right along with me!
Rankings: Homemade Amish Pretzels Were a BIG WIN! 2 of 5
This recipe was a huge success! Not only did it work and make some pretty wonderful pretzels, but the whole process was fun and engaging with the kids. As you can see from our rankings chart, it was smiles all around! I loved that there were many steps the kids could get involved with, none of which were too difficult, and I felt like there were tasks appropriate for all ages. Bonus: clean up was actually quite easy. The whole experience left us all happy.
Steps in the Recipe Where Kids Can Get Involved 3 of 5
There were SO many ways for the kids to get involved with this recipe it was awesome! And making pretzels is surprisingly UN-messy, which was really nice for me, the designated cleaner-upper. Here were some specific ways the kids helped out:
- The recipe calls for self-rising flour, so we got to talk about different types of flours and actually make the self-rising flour ourselves. It was a great learning opportunity that also involved measuring and whisking, always welcome tasks for kids!
- As with all baking recipes, the kids took turns measuring, dumping and mixing the ingredients and we got in a lot of counting, too!
- This recipe uses yeast, so we got to talk about how to work with yeast and what it does. Most yeast recipes involve two rises, but this recipe has only one 45-minute rise, which is great when cooking with kids. Our long-awaited Frozen blu-ray arrived in the mail while we were cooking, so during the 45-minute rise we got out the Frozen songbook and sat down for some fun at the piano playing and singing while we waited for the dough. I am not making this up it really happened and all the singing got everyone even more excited to watch the movie once the pretzels were all done!
- Making the pretzel shapes from the dough ended up going a lot more smoothly than I thought it would! Cate, my 9-year-old, proved to be the best at making the long ropes of dough and shaping them into pretzels. She was a machine better at it than I was! It was definitely harder for the younger kids (2 and 6) to make the pretzel shapes, but they still had fun playing with the dough.
- Before you bake the pretzels, you dip them in a baking soda-water solution. The baking soda tends to separate and settle to the bottom of the bowl. Since Owen (2) couldn't really make pretzels that well, his job was to keep the water mixed for us, which he happily did. Basically he got to swish his hands around in a big bowl of water for 10 minutes, which was perfectly fine with him and actually really helpful for us!
- Once the pretzels come out of the oven, the kids helped brush the pretzels with butter and sprinkle them with salt.
The Tasting 4 of 5
The tasting went well. Every single person loved the final product. Yay!
The Final Product and the Recipe! 5 of 5
I am so glad we tackled homemade Amish pretzels and I'm really glad I tried the recipe with my kids. I walked away from the experience feeling completely happy and satisfied, which is not always the case after cooking with kids even after our best efforts. Plus, these things are dang good.
Homemade Amish Pretzels
From Jane Maynard
- 1 1/4 cup warm water (warmer than lukewarm but not too warm!)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cup bread flour
- 2 cup self-rising flour (make self-rising flour by whisking together 2 cups of pastry or cake flour with 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt - be sure to re-measure the 2 cups for this recipe after you've made the self-rising flour)
- 1 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 3 cups hot water (not too hot, you'll be sticking your hands in it!)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- rock salt
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix yeast and 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, bread flour, self-rising flour and vegetable oil to the yeast and mix to combine completely.
- Knead on a lightly-floured surface until you have a nice ball of dough. If you're using your stand mixer, knead with the dough hook for a few minutes until a ball forms. You do not want to over-knead the dough.
- If you're using your stand mixer, remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a clean towel or cloth. If you knead the dough by hand, place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise for 45 minutes, until just about double in size.
- Preheat oven to 450º F.
- Clean your countertop well. Spray some non-stick oil spray onto a small part of your counter off to the side and dump your dough ball out onto that greased part of the counter. Form a uniform rectangle and then cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- To form the pretzels, pick up a piece of dough and roll/stretch it out into a long thin rope on the un-greased portion of your countertop. You want the rope to be quite long, about an arm's length, and quite skinny. Make a U shape with the dough, then lift the two ends and twist them around each other twice, then attach the two ends at the bottom of the U to form the pretzel shape. [url:2]Click here to see a video demonstration.[/url]
- Whisk together baking soda and hot water in a large bowl. Get a clean dish towel, folded, and place it next to the bowl. Dip the formed pretzel into the solution then blot the bottom side of the pretzel on the towel before placing on a greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. (You should whisk up the water before each dip as the baking soda settles quickly.)
- Bake for 5-10 minutes, until pretzels are a dark golden brown. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with rock salt. If you want to make cinnamon-sugar pretzels, dip the cooked pretzels completely in butter then coat in cinnamon sugar.
Best served fresh out of the oven! Leftovers can be reheated in the oven at 325 degrees F for about 4 minutes.