Monday, January 9, 2012

Pretzel Day

Recently, I've had the privilege of spending time with some sweet kids that have really taught me to enjoy the little things in life.  The excitement and joy of learning new simple tasks like folding clothes, building towers with blocks or even cooking in the kitchen.  A few weeks ago my little buddy A was telling me about his school setting up Italy and Germany day this year.   In November,  they had Italy day where they made pizza, had pretend gondola rides, and even met the Pope.  What a fun idea to introduce new cultures and traditions to preschool age children.    Back to Germany day, when I asked A what he did all he could really remember was that they ate potato pancakes, apple sauce and pretzels.  Then without skipping a beat he said, "Khala (auntie) do you know how to make pretzels?"  Of course, I said would you like to make pretzels one day?   Shurre that would be good, he said.  


That is exactly what we did a few days ago.   I planned a pretzel making day with A, M and L.   On the day of our cooking lesson we printed out our recipe, gathered all the ingredients, measuring cups, spoons, bowls, and then finally we got the oven pre-heated.  I have to admit, I was more excited than they were - first, I love being in the kitchen, secondly, some of my favorite memories with my mom and grandmother were spend in the kitchen.  Cooking is a great way to develop coordination and dexterity skills.   Filling cups with flour, baking soda, honey, rolling out dough, and brushing butter on pretzels.   We used a non-yeast based recipe for simplicity.







We made two types of pretzels: Cinnamon Sugar and Parmesan.  Can you guess their favorite?

I hope you will take time to try this recipe with your kids, grandkids or students.  If you have questions on how to set up a cooking lesson would like to schedule a class for your little ones please give me a call at 678-744-9001 or email somer@stovetopsolutions.com 

Easy Pretzel Recipe

Ingredients:
  
         1/3 cup baking soda
         5 cups water
          
         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or 3 cups if you don't have wheat flour
         1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, or oat flour
         1 teaspoon baking soda
         1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice)
         1/4 cup honey
         1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
         1/4 cup cinnamon sugar
         1/4 cup melted butter

**Allow the children to measure out each of the ingredients.

Method

In a non-aluminum stock pot, dissolve 1/3 cup baking soda in 5 cups water.


Bring water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and baking soda. Stir in buttermilk and honey until dough pulls together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to form a firm dough.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a cylinder approximately 12 inches long (hand each kid a piece of the dough and allow them to roll them out into cylinders). Then once all pieces are rolled out, allow kids to form into classic pretzel shape. Pinch ends to seal. Dip pretzels in baking soda solution and then place on lightly greased cookie sheets.

Brush pretzels with butter, sprinkle pretzels sugar or parmesan cheese, and then bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

I served the cheese pretzels with marinara sauce for lunch and then cinnamon sugar pretzels for dessert.  




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