Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brie, the pretzel-maker

There's a cute kids book by Eric Carle titled, " Walter the Baker", in which he is ordered by the Duke and Dutchess to make a soft tasty roll out of one piece of dough, that the sun can shine through 3 times, or be banished from the Kingdom.

For all my friends with kids out there, this book is a must-have. My pre-school class LOVED it. We followed up by making pretzels, which of course, with 14 sets of little hands "helping", they turned out anything but pretzel like...more like 3 lumps of dough, but they were sooooo delicious!

My neighbor's daughter has been on my case to bake with her, and so last night while baking store bought cookie dough ( ick!I'm such a baking-snob) that she brought over, I showed her how to search recipes on She though pretzels would be fun. I agreed.

Well, unbeknownst to her, I dreamt about them last night and woke up and made them without her. shhhhhhh! I know, I'm terrible!

But before anyone jumps on me for not including her, I had to do a trial-run, right?? I mean, it's been 6 years since I last taught pre-school, so I'm a bit rusty in the 'ol bread making department.

Anyhow, I made the most delicious pretzels this morning, and am now confident in my abilities to teach lil Miss A. how to make them as well.

So, we'll make them next weekend, unless by then she decides that making carmel-something-or-0ther (her first find on her goog.le search) sounds like a better option.

I am excited to teach her the way around a kitchen. I think kids should learn how to cook, and do laundry, and iron. At an appropriate age, of course. Domestic abilities do not require talent, they're learned. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I find a lot of my self worth in knowing my way around an oven, ironing board and vacuum cleaner.
As requested..THE recipe..
4 tsp active dry yeast ( I used 2 packets of Fleishcman's rapid-rise)
1 tsp. white sugar
1 1/4 c. hot water (110' F)
5 c all purpose flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 c baking soda
4 c hot water
1/4 c kosher or sea salt
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cupswarm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In large bowl ( I used my kitchenaid mixer with dough hook today). Mix flour, 1/2 c sugar and salt. Make a well in the center; add yeast mixture and oil. Knead till smooth (7-8 minutes). If dough is too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Lightly oil a large bowl. Put dough ball in oiled bowl and coat with a layer of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours in a warm area.
3. Preheat oven to 450' F. In large bowl, dissolve baking soda in warm water.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 balls. Roll each piece out into a rope, and cross ends to make pretzel shape. Dip each pretzel in the baking soda bath and transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned.


  1. I am SOOOO making these!! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  2. mmmm... those look so very delicious!