In the Kitchen with Kids: The Best Pretzels You’ll Ever Make

While this isn’t necessarily the healthiest snack, I am always a HUGE fan of finding foods that the kids are excited to get in the kitchen and help make.  A few months ago while we were visiting my parents my mom, who is the real chef & the original encourager of getting kids in the kitchen, cooking, tasting, and getting messy, introduced us to this soft pretzel recipe from Once Upon a Chef and it has quickly become a favorite of ours!  It has all my favorite things going for it: simple ingredients, easy to follow directions, the kids can help measure and mix the dough, there is a little bit of rest time for the dough to rise (patience little ones) then they get to knead, roll, shape, and dip & bake their creations.  The best part is regardless of how pretty they look they ALWAYS taste amazing!


Below is the recipe via Once Upon a Chef and you can find the direct link to the soft pretzels at Once Upon a Chef here.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast (not rapid rise yeast) (1 package contains 1/4 oz. or approximately 2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons for the dough; 3 tablespoons for brushing on finished pretzels)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • Coarse salt, to taste*


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees F (alternatively, warm it in the microwave for about 40 seconds); pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour with a wooden spoon. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 ¼ cups flour and fine salt to make a sticky dough. Add more flour if necessary (you’ll probably need a few tablespoons) to form dough into a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each into a pretzel shape (form a U-shape, then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press firmly onto the bottom of the pretzel).
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on a prepared baking sheet (re-shaping if necessary) and sprinkle lightly with course salt. Bake until golden, 10 – 12 minutes. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter and brush on baked pretzels. The pretzels are best enjoyed fresh on the same day.
  4. *If you prefer a cinnamon sugar topping, omit the coarse salt. Brush with butter after baking and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar plus about 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon)

We’ve topped ours with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning as well and they are soooo good!

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If you end up giving them a shot I would love to know how they turn out!

Xx ~ Ryann