Quick baked soft pretzels that are a fraction of the price of the mall and super easy!

September 8th 2013

For this week’s posts I’ve decided that I will do some kid friendly, fast, weeknight recipes. These are kid friendly and easy, but are tasty enough for everyone. School started this week and so does an added level of stress and excitement. Besides being close to having a nervous breakdown when the bus was late the first day Ava rode it home, this year seems to be much easier than last year’s kindergarten transition. With focusing mostly on plant based eating lately, my daughter has for the most part been pretty good about it, she does however have requests, so today’s recipe (if you can call it that, it so easy) was for her. Ava loves those mall soft pretzels, she hasn’t had one since we were in Utah for summer vacation…so I figured I would indulge her a bit. Trader Joe’s is within walking distance from her bus stop so the other day we went to pick up some of their awesome, health- minded products, I bought some of their whole wheat pizza dough to make these pretzels, if you don’t have a TJ’s close by, you can use another brand that you like, the less ingredients the better (avoid the pop open can if possible), or of course you can make your own. In high school I worked at Einstein’s bagels and my favorite job was topping the bagels, we would take the thawed dough, we received it frozen from corporate, and basically the baker would dunk the dough into the toppings, proof, and bake which is what was my inspiration for topping these pretzels.
You will need:
1 bag of pizza dough, usually they are a pound, I used whole wheat to make a bit healthier version then those one’s at the mall my daughter loves.
1 sheet pan, lined with parchment, or cooking spray
Topping of choice, I did two of each kind, sesame seeds (about a teaspoon for each pretzel), cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon sugar to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, makes enough for probably all six if you wanted to go the sweet route), and some finely grated Tillamook medium cheddar (about ½ tablespoon for each pretzels, I also topped ours with a dash of smoked paprika). You of course could always just do coarse salt and keep it classic, but I was having bagel nostalgia, and my kids love the fun of having the variations. Choose your favorites!
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut your dough into six equal pieces, roll each piece into a long “snake” about a foot or so, seal the open end, twist once or twice and lay the twisted end on top of the bottom….it will look kinda like a heart, I winged this….mine are definitely not perfect, but that is when you call them “artisan” pretzels….haha. You can also just lay them down like breadsticks, but my kid wanted pretzels, you can find a few tutorials on the web if you really wanna get particular. After shaping of dough, press into a shallow dish of toppings, lift out and place on prepped sheet pan, repeat until all pretzels are topped. Bake for 10 minutes and volia! These seriously are just as good as the mall variety, have less fat, unless you choose to dunk yours in butter or whatever, no judgment here, and you can make six for the price of 1! Try this with your kids, its fun and easy!