It was a Sunday afternoon and it had been a fairly slow weekend.  I was getting a bit antsy and the kids were too.  We weren't feeling up for a trip out, so I began to rack my brain for out-of-the-box things to do with the kids to keep us all busy and happy. Enter in HOMEMADE PRETZELS!

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My kids love standing up to the counter, taking turns pouring in the measured ingredients.  They quietly overlook the mixing bowl as it goes round and round.  This project was even more kid friendly because the act of rolling out the dough into long "snake" pieces was right up their ally.  I even gave a little extra to each of them that I let them destroy/make into their own creation.  And to boot, they even turned out to be a tasty treat for the whole family.  My husband swears by a side of mustard, but me, nah, I'm a mustard hater.

So without further ado, here is the recipe.  Hope it brings as much joy to your household as it did to ours.

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::Makes about 8 pretzels::

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water 1 tablespoon sugar & 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 package active dry yeast 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 10 cups water (For boiling) 2/3 cup baking soda 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water Sea salt for sprinkling

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset::Directions::

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

2. Combine the 1/2 cups warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast packet on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until bubbles and foam begin to rise to the surface.

3. Add vegetable oil and a small amount of flour.  (some recipes don't call for the oil, or use butter instead, but I liked how the oil made them a little fluffier.)  Using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer, mix on low speed until the mixture begins to combine.  Slowly add more and more flour until all has been added in.

4. Bring to medium speed for around 4 to 5 minutes, making sure the dough is pulling away from the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place outside, or an area with a warmer temperature to allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray (or whatever suits your fancy). Set aside.  Begin to bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil.  And while your at it, make up that egg wash (1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water).

6. Once the dough has completed rising (should be doubled in size), divide into 8 equal sections. Roll out each piece of dough into a 2 foot rope.  {this is where the kids really get to have fun} Begin with a U-shape and then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.

7.  After pretzel assembly has been completed, 1x1 place each pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Carefully removing them as to not disrupt the shape. Place on the baking pans, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and finally sprinkle with sea salt.

8. Then place those bad boys into the oven for about approximately 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown in color. Let them cool for a bit and serve em' up, mustard or not.  Then enjoy your fun project and a fun treat!

homemade pretzels 2- A Mama Collective

{Recipe adapted from here}

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