Posted by: Jamie Stamm | October 3, 2008

Cera in the kitchen: Part 2

I grew up just outside Philadelphia, so soft pretzels are part of my personal culinary history. Thus, when Cera and I decided to add homemade soft pretzels to the list of recipes we wanted to try, I was pretty excited to share a piece of my past – not to mention one of my favorite snacks – with my daughter.

Cera was excited, too, but not for the same reason. After reading over the recipe with me, she realized it would involve a fair amount of flour, which meant she could wear the new apron she’s been designing (it’s a work in progress).

Notice the detailing (this is a self-portrait of Cera riding a bicycle).

We used a recipe from “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cool Kids’ Cooking,” which cheats a bit by using frozen bread dough instead of making dough from scratch, but that’s just fine when you’re working with a 5-year-old who has the attention span of a gnat. Like the Pizza Braids we made earlier in the week, there was a lot for Cera to do, from sprinkling the countertop with flour (she called herself the “flour girl”) and helping to roll the dough to shaping the pretzels and sprinkling them with toppings. I even let her cut the dough using a bread knife – with close supervision, of course.

Below, Cera brushes the pretzels with a mixture of hot water and baking soda before we allowed them to rise for 30 minutes.

LIke our earlier project using this cookbook, the results were pretty amazing. Check out our finished products below (the pretzels in the upper and lower right-hand corners are sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, while the rest are seasoned with Kosher salt).

We also made cinnamon-and-sugar pretzels, which – at Cera’s request – we shaped like hearts.

And check out this bad boy from the last batch …

The pretzels had a great consistency – crunchy on the outside and soft yet not too doughy on the inside. Our only issue was getting the pretzels off the cookie sheets. Even though I greased the sheets well, we lost quite a few pretzel bottoms.

Next week: Candy-Coated Dragonflies. Wish us luck!


  1. YUM! Got any leftovers you are looking to get rid of? Otherwise, I”ll be making some myself. Audrey is too young to help, but she can watch from her high chair. 🙂

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