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Tuesday Morning Tidy: Pretzel Making with Kids

A few weeks ago, I found myself watching "Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines" on the new Magnolia Network. I'm pretty convinced that everything this woman touches turns to gold, including her pretzel recipe! I was inspired to prep them for a small gathering with friends to watch the Super Bowl.

The best part about this recipe is that they are really fun to make with kids! Between the yeast and baking soda, kids get to witness two fun chemical reactions in one recipe! With the yeast, there is also the lesson of patience, and the reward could not be better than these delicious pretzels. Also, for any elementary aged kid and up, the art of twisting the dough into a pretzel shape is easy to do.

Recipe (from


  • Two 1/4-ounce packets active dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (95°F to 110°F)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/3 cup baking soda

  • 4 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 cup Maldon or other flaky salt (I used kosher salt, and it was fine)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the warm water. Set aside until the sugar and yeast are dissolved, about 10 minutes.

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the kosher salt. Turn the mixer on low to mix the ingredients. Add the oil and the yeast mixture and mix on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. I highly recommend a stand mixer. I used my hand mixer and while I got the dough combined, I promptly burnt out my mixer!

  3. Spray a large bowl lightly with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 24-inch-long rope and twist each rope into a traditional pretzel shape.

  6. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the baking soda and boiling water, stirring until the soda is completely dissolved. Dip each pretzel in the soda/ water mixture, then place it on one of the prepared pans, leaving 1 1/2 inches between the pretzels. Sprinkle the pretzels with the Maldon salt.

  7. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Brush each pretzel with melted butter and serve immediately with cheese dip. We used honey mustard.

  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

We brought these to our gathering that evening, and they were enjoyed by all. However, I highly recommend them right out of the oven--they were really good that way! We did not make the cheese dip that accompanies this recipe on the show and online, but instead substituted with a local honey mustard that we all enjoy.

So, pop on those aprons, and get everyone in the kitchen for pretzel-making!

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