cooking together: soft pretzels

one thing i love about homeschooling is the ability to turn something
enjoyable into school work. lately i have been trying to find a balance
for our "living" home school approach. meaning how much hands on activities
we do versus some of the monotonous sit down activities we do. i have found
that cooking together provides that balance i have been searching for.
cooking together gives us the opportunity to read (reading), explore numbers
and different ways we use them (math), follow directions (habit training),
mix things together (science), and be creative (art) all in one living experience.
it was a great time for both of us and we had fun. the little miss even
asked me if she could have this recipe when she was older so she could make
them on her own. it made me chuckle, but i thought now that's a "living" experience.
this was something she enjoyed enough that actually made her think of herself doing
it as an adult. i mean that's what schooling is all about right? preparing our
children for adulthood and giving them the skills they need for that venture.
i could probably go on and on, but i won't. needless to say we will be
making this a regular, recurring weekly activity in our home school schedule.
here's what we did...

our ingredients:
1 tsp yeast, 1 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar,
2 tsp honey, 4 cups flour,
1 1/2 cup warm water, 2 tsp salt,
3 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup melted butter,
1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

stir yeast, sugar, honey, and warm water in mixer bowl.
let stand until foamy (approx. 5 mins)

mix flour and salt in a bowl; slowly add to yeast mixture.

knead until smooth.

this is where it got real fun.

sticky fingers.

squishy fingers.

tossing it in the air.

while the little miss was doing that, the little fella was busy bustin a move.

he actually danced the whole time we were cooking together.

but now back to our pretzels... viola, it's ready to rise.

put dough in a large bowl oiled with cooking
spray and cover with plastic wrap;
let rise until doubled in size (approx. 45 mins).

when dough is done rising, punch down.
bring 4 quarts water and baking soda to a boil.

preheat oven to 425 degrees.
cut dough into 8 -10 pieces.

roll each piece into a 24-inch long rope.
shape ropes into pretzels.

place pretzel in boiling water for 30-40 seconds on each side.
(this will give them a brown crust when baking.)

melt butter and apply to pretzels, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture

bake for 15 - 18 minutes.


and enjoy!

*recipe from martha stewarts kids sept/oct 2004 issue

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