What Kids Can Do:
* Measure out ingredients.
* Blend yeast mixture, then flour mixture.
* Brush inside of bowl with oil.
* Make cinnamon-sugar mixture.
* Form and dip pretzels and sprinkle with sugar mixture.
1. Place yeast, brown sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl and stir. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in butter and vanilla.
2. In another bowl, whisk salt with flour. Add to yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, and mix until dough forms. Dust a work surface with flour and knead, squeezing dough with your hands, folding it over, and pushing it down with the heel of your hand. Continue kneading for 8 to 10 minutes until dough feels smooth and flexible. If it feels too sticky to work with, add more flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time (slight stickiness is OK).
3. Wipe any dough from mixing bowl, then add oil to bowl. Use a paper towel to spread it around, coating the surface. Form the dough into a ball and place it in bowl. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Punch down dough to remove any excess air bubbles and roll into a ball. Divide ball into 12 equal pieces and place on a work surface. Rinse bowl, then make soda bath by adding baking soda and warm water to bowl. Mix and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or line with foil and spray with vegetable cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
6. To form a traditional pretzel shape, roll each piece of dough into a snake about 22 inches long. Form a letter U and cross the two ends over each other, once, then twice, to make a twist. Pull the ends down and attach them to the bottom of the U, pinching the dough so that it sticks together. Or you can make any other shapes you like letters, knots, circles.
7. Stir soda bath. Dip pretzels, one at a time, into mixture, then blot on a kitchen towel. Place 6 pretzels on each baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake 12 minutes, or until pretzels are golden brown. Serve immediately.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, May - June 2009