This neighborhood’s a ghost town, with many families off in search of the sun and others splashing around at local water park hotels.

Some of us, though, are at work, trying valiantly to keep children at home busy with the help of a little creativity. Yesterday, that meant homemade soft pretzels. And when they happened to rise right around dinner time, that meant pretzels for dinner. Let’s call them kid-friendly rolls. We ate them right out of the oven, dipped in french onion soup, along with a giant salad.

HOMEMADE PRETZELS (from Peas and Thank You cookbook)
3/4 warm water
2t sugar
1t yeast
2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1t salt
2T butter or Earth Balance
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2T kosher salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand for 10 minutes. Combine flour, salt and butter with a blender and dough hook. Add yeast mixture and knead with blender and then with hands until fully combined. Place in well-oiled bowl, cover with warm towel and place in a warm place (I use the oven with the only the light on). Let sit for 1 hour.

Boil the water and baking soda. Roll out the dough into twists and then a pretzel shape. Or a flower. Or your initials. Dunk each pretzel in the water for 30 seconds. Place on wax paper and sprinkle salt on. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

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