The Pretzel Story: How I learned to bake pretzels in less than 3 days

Motherhood can transform you into so many things. In September, I hand sewn a 70s dress for Grandparent’s Day. And this month, from a non-baking-enthusiast mom, I turned myself into a passionate baker almost overnight and baked pretzels in less than 72 hours. 

It all started when the teachers informed the parents about the entrepreneur week happening at school. We were asked to pick a snack to sell based on the Cinema and Snack Bar theme. Everyone was quick to choose the top movie snack favourites. BUT, me for some weird “craving” reasons I just had to say pretzel which by the way I didn’t have a clue on how to make. At this point, my daughter has been begging me to bake with her for so many times already. But since it requires a lot of work, I convinced her that making pancakes are somewhat like baking too until the fateful day came – the bake sale.

So, here’s what I did not to lose my arm in the process of baking pretzels.

Spoiler alert: IT WAS HARD!

Our pretzel-inspo

I’ve known Auntie Anne’s Pretzels for years, but I haven’t met her not even once nor have found anyone who could make tasty pretzels like her. So, I thought, for a change, it would be nice to learn how to bake pretzels for the Cinema and Snack Bar activity in school. While others chose practical choices like popcorn, chips, hotdogs and so on, we went for the insanely hard and the most expensive one. Of course, I only realized how hard it was when I was kneading the dough. 

The baking tools

Preparing the tools and ingredients was the easiest part. I’ve had most of the baking tools like the measuring cups, bowls and rolling pin sitting in the cupboard for years. And if it weren’t for this entrepreneur week activity at school, I don’t think I would dare to remove them from their spot. I mean, real talk, right? But there’s this one item that I had to splurge on a bit, the Dowell Stand Mixer. It has a lid cover to avoid spills and from keeping the hands of small children from scooping the dough.

Dowell Stand Mixer with a lid cover for hands-free mixing for P 2,850.00

My baking buddy

My little girl was too excited to mix and knead all the ingredients. So, instead of arm wrestling her to let me finish my work, I gave her a small dough to mix and knead to her satisfaction. By the way, this was the first batch, and it was a total flop. I put too much yeast into the dough. What a noob! 😅

Even though it was a tiring a three-day stunt for a hands-on parent like me, it felt like an achievement to team up with my little girl.

How to make pretzels in less than three days

Twisting and forming the dough into a pretzel shape was easy in the beginning. But when I got the right taste, making it into knots became impossible. So, instead of the pretty knots, we made them into bite-size shapes. I also discovered that if you don’t give that pretzel dough a baking soda bath, you won’t get that golden brown colour. The proof of that was the tub of bread-like pretzel batch. It turned into mini French Bread almost immediately.

It’s time to sell!

My rule of thumb when it comes to designing booths is that everything must fit in two small boxes which I could easily carry. As a result, our booth was pretty simple. I designed an A4 size menu that also served as a banner glued on an old paper bag. I used the same design to create the packaging and cut the elements to make square buntings. With Yaya’s help, our booth was ready to sell within seconds. 

What else was cool

The teachers created the cinema vibe with a soft floor mat and looped two short movies for the youngsters. Everyone was entertained with the movies, including the little ones who were tasked to sell the pretzels.

Even though it was a tiring a three-day stunt for a hands-on parent like me, it felt like an achievement to team up with my little girl. We would be happy to participate again next year with our improved baking skills and well-designed practical booth design.

For the pretzel recipe please check out several references of my references like Allrecipes.com and Once Upon a Chef. Have fun baking with your little one!

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