This week’s Maker Monday project — Soft Pretzels — involves large and small muscle skills, creativity, and the math aptitude required for measuring. And when it’s all finished, kids are left with a delicious homemade treat.
A grownup is needed for supervising and handling the hot stuff. But kids can do the rest.
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup brown sugar
4-5 cups flour
Coarse kosher salt
In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1/8 cup of hot — not boiling — water until dissolved. Stir in the brown sugar and 1 1/3 cups warm water. Slowly add flour, one cup at a time, to the mixture. As it thickens, mixing will need to be done by hand, working it in. Kids love this part!
Keep mixing until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Knead the dough on a floured surface. Depending on how many kids are involved, break the dough up so everybody has a piece to work. Keep pounding and turning until the dough is stretchy and smooth.
Break the dough into about 20 pieces to be worked and formed into pretzels — or letters or bite-size pretzel balls.
Once the pretzels are formed, grease two cookie sheets and sprinkle with the coarse kosher salt.
Heat a pan of water, mixing in 1 tablespoon baking soda for each cup of water. Lower pretzels with a slotted spoon or spatula in the gently boiling water and let cook for 30 seconds. It will take multiple batches to get to all the pretzels.
As you lift the pretzels from the baking soda bath, place on the cookie sheets. Sprinkle the tops with more salt.
Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.