Children love help cook, and they really enjoy eating what they make. This recipe is easy, fun, and tasty! You can make pretzels that teach shapes, numbers, or letters, or you can just make them for the benefits of measuring, mixing, and developing hand strength through rolling and shaping the dough.
- 1 package of yeast
- 1 ½ cups of warm (not hot) water (around 112 – 120 degrees F)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups flour
- 1 beaten egg
- Coarse salt
- Mix together the first four ingredients until dissolved.
- Mix in the flour. You may need an extra 1/2 cup of flour if the dough is too wet.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface or on waxed paper until it is smooth.
- Optional: You may now let it rise in a warm place until the dough doubles (or not). Play another game while you are waiting.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Divide the dough into about 14 pieces. Show children how to roll the dough into long “ropes,” then let them do it.
- Let them shape the “ropes” into letters, numbers, or shapes. You can do the first letter of their names, their whole name, or any letters they are learning.
- If children are just beginning to learn letters, shape the same few letters over and over. “Let’s see how many A’s we can make. A for Andy.”
- After the pretzels are formed, brush the tops with the beaten eggs. Sprinkle with salt. (If you have coarse salt, use it. If not, use regular table salt.)
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
- Enjoy eating. Reinforce what the letters are named in fun ways. Hold up the letter you are about to munch. Say, “I’m eating the letter A. What letter are you eating?” “Oh my, you just ate Mr. A’s foot! Now you’re eating Mr. H’s middle!” “I just ate the top of Mrs. O’s head!”
- If you made a variety of letters, show children how letters go together to make words. Let them make words.