I mentioned that we made pretzels, didn’t I?
“Tell us about the pretzels,” I hear you cry.
Oh, okay then.
I pinned this recipe ages ago, thinking it sounded like a fun thing to do with the kids, and on our snow day last Tuesday I was apparently desperate/ambitious/energetic enough to unearth it and put it to the test. It worked admirably.
I don’t want to reproduce it here because it’s not mine and I didn’t change it. And they do a great job of the instructions over there. But you can see my photos and get my additional thrilling thoughts on the process.
I made the dough in my lovely Kitchen Aid, though you could do it by hand if you felt up to a decent bout of kneading. It’s very theraputic, you know. I recently discovered that my oven has a “Proving” setting, which is brilliant for baking with yeast in the winter. The dough did such a great job doubling that it runnethed over.
Then I set the kids up with a clean table surface and some flour, and gave them a blob each. The great thing was that you don’t have to do any particular shape, so this would work really well with smaller children too. Mabel made lots of little balls, and though I was sceptical, they came out fine and she loved them. I made some long sticks and a couple of bread rolls as well as some small pretzel twists.
The boiling step seemed a little daunting because I’ve never done that before, but it was perfectly simple. Make sure you have enough baking soda to hand, because it does take quite a lot. You don’t have to time the 30 seconds particularly carefully, and I just kept it on the hob between batches, waiting for the kids’ ones to be ready to go. They came out a little slimy, but they stayed in their shapes well.
After brushing with egg wash and baking – golden and delicious. Do put salt on top (or cinnamon sugar, if you’re that way inclined). I left some plain and they were a little bitter (because of the baking soda); though the children didn’t seem to care.
I found myself dipping them in wholegrain mustard. I don’t even know who I am any more.
They were delicious warm, straight from the oven, but a few seconds in the microwave brought them back even the next day (for the few that were left over). I also slit one in half and toasted it with ham inside, like a very thin bagel. It worked admirably.