- 3 cups regular flour
- *2 cups Warm water
- *2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1/2 stick of butter (you don't use all of it) - Sweet Butter is one of "Aunt Annie's" secrets
- Cinnamon/Sugar mix for cinnamon pretzels
- Coarse salt
- Or other favorite topping
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. (I had to add at least 1/4 cup more water, because it was just too dry.) Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often (or prepare your beaten egg).
After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope* (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. This is the fun part...Let your children create whatever they can come up with; monsters, people, animals, or making a basic pretzel is just fine, too!
Pretzel people are their favorite to make and balling up the dough and carrying it around in a cup is okay, too! That kept our little friend occupied for a bit!
His man has a lizard head and snake head feet...his own idea!
Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Soda solution works great if you are making a regular pretzel design, but if you are making animals, people and anything else, the egg works better. Alternative: Brush Pretzel with egg, using a spoon. It will give it that nice shine after you bake them.
After coated with the beaten egg and waiting to rise
Allow pretzels to rise again. (Letting them rise is best, but if you are short on time or patience, I set my oven to 200 and let them rise in there for 5 - 10 minutes) Bake in 450 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden (closer to 7 -8 minutes worked best for me). Brush with melted butter and enjoy!
Toppings: after you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt. or for Auntie Anne's famous Cinnamon Sugar, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture. I use the stick of butter and brush it over the pretzels just after they get out of the oven. (I didn't have a shallow bowl big enough to dip the pretzels into!) And it was easier for me to put a pretzel on a plate and sprinkle the salt or the cinnamon/sugar mix on the pretzel rather than dipping the pretzel into the topping.
* The longer and thinner you can make the dough rope, the more like Auntie Anne's they will be. The easiest way to get this is by holding the two ends of your dough rope and kind of treating it like a jump rope by swinging it. It will start to stretch out. Once the ends seem to be about the right thickness, then move your hands closer to the center and swing the middle. Swinging is much easier than trying to roll it out to get it long enough!
For us, it worked best for my son to hold one end of the "rope" while I held the other and then we would swing it. He got a little frustrated doing it on his own.
This recipe can be found at the CDKitchen under the name "Aunt Annie's Soft Pretzels." I made some of my own enhancements to the recipe!