Edible Pretzel ABCs

by Meghan

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The Ms love to participate in the kitchen – it’s an easy place to keep them occupied, involved, and there is so much to learn!  Big M has known all her letters for awhile but is just beginning to learn to write them, while Lil’ M is just learning them to begin with.  So this week, we made one of my favorite recipes, homemade soft pretzels, and formed them into Edible Pretzel ABCs. Homemade Edible Pretzel ABCs

Edible Pretzel ABCs

I started making homemade soft pretzels for our family’s annual Oktoberfest about 5 years ago.  After a trip to the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Munich,  we realized they were a key feature missing from our family party.  I found this super easy recipe by Alton Brown.  It uses a handful of basic ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter), and instead of dipping the pretzels in lye before baking, you can use baking soda in boiling water.

Typically, I only make them once a year and make 50+!  But they are so delicious, and the girls love to help in the kitchen so much, I thought this would be a great recipe to try with them.

My sous chefs

They could form shapes with the dough – in this case ABCs – and learn about the science behind bread.  Big M was fascinated when I told her the yeast is alive and will eat the sugar in the water and help the bread grow.


Yeast  bubbling

Yeast bubbling

Your dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.


Now the toughest part for little ones – waiting for it to rise!  I set the bowl on top of the pre-heating oven to keep it warm and help it along.  When we took it out to form the pretzels, Big M talked about how it felt: warm, squishy, and soft.

IMG_5579I used a pizza cutter to split the dough into 6 even sections.  Then we rolled it into long snakes to form our letters.  I let Big M pick the letters we made.  She started out with A, B, C, D… but when I pointed out we didn’t have enough to make the entire alphabet, she picked two of her favorites – M and Q.


Once the letters are made, here comes the tricky part.  You have to dip the pretzels into boiling water with baking soda.  This is what makes them crispy on the outside, and soft and spongy on the inside whey you bake them.


I recommend using a slotted spatula to lower them into the water, flip them, lift them out and place them on your baking sheets.  I did this without any child assistance.

Next came Big M’s favorite part – painting  and sprinkling!  We painted the pretzels with egg yolk (this helps them brown) and then sprinkled them with pretzel salt.  Now, in 5 years of making these, I have never been able to find pretzel salt at the grocery store.  I always settled for kosher salt flakes.  I finally decided to search for pretzel salt online, and of course, Amazon had it!


Finally, they were ready for the oven.  And just a few minutes later – Voila!  A tasty, afternoon snack.

Edible Pretzel ABCs

Big M, true to character, liked them plain – but Lil’ M was all about dipping them in mustard, like a true Yankee!  They keep asking when we are going to make them again – Big M wants to make her full name next time!

What are some of your favorite family recipes?  What recipe do your kids like to help you make most?  If you enjoyed this post, you can check out all our cooking with kids posts here, and find all our favorite recipes on our Gotta Eat! and Cooking with Kids boards on Pinterest.

For more awesome hands-on learning ideas for preschoolers, be sure to check out ABCs and 123s, our latest collaborative ebook, featuring 40+ ideas to teach the alphabet and math skills through play!

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Jolanthe April 14, 2015 - 9:24 am

We always love edible lessons! Looks yummy!

PGPBMeghan April 14, 2015 - 2:52 pm

They are delicious – and it was a great excuse to make them more than once a year!

Shelly @ Dolen Diaries April 14, 2015 - 12:09 am

I absolutely love this idea! I can see some spelling pretzel practice in our future! Thanks SO much for sharing!

Found this via the No Time For Flashcards link up.

PGPBMeghan April 14, 2015 - 2:55 pm

Thanks for visiting – bonus, they taste delicious too!

Nell April 10, 2015 - 11:39 pm

Mmm… these look fun to make and eat — thanks for sharing!

Mary Wright April 10, 2015 - 9:05 pm

I have been making letter pretzels with my class for years following the read aloud Chick Chick Boom Boom by Bill Martin. I make the bread dough the day before and keep it in the fridge over night. The kids roll the dough into snake shapes on flour to form the first letter of their name. We brush with egg white, sprinkle salt and bake in the oven. The yeast bread dough rises beautifully. There are great videos on you tube about yeast and its description as living matter to help my early childhood learners understand why yeast helps the bread dough rise! Cooking with kids is such a great experience with building their vocabulary, integrating science and math skills and just having fun in the kitchen where kids can cook.


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