Homemade Pretzels

by Natalie
(New Jersey)

We tried a homemade pretzels project with an easy recipe that is very popular, whether we make them either slightly salty or sweet. Sometimes we also make various shapes for different occasions. It's ended up being fun for both our regular elderly activities and also to do with visiting kids too.

We do it the easy way by using the fridge pizza dough. Then depending on what we're using them for, we sprinkle the tops with a bit of sweetener, or a very little salt, (since it seems that most elderly watch the intake of either salt or sugar or both).

We also like raisins pressed into them. But be sure to leave some without, because there may be some people who don’t like raisins. Garlic powder or onion salt are also delicious on homemade pretzels. And of course you can always have them more plain. Traditional pretzels are also sprinkled with seeds like sesame, but you'd have to use your judgment whether your group would want seeds.

We have had complaints that some in our group find seeds difficult to eat. Also consider frosting them. You can get frosting in cans or in squirt tubes to make squiggles on them. And then there are those chocolate dipped pretzels too.

Editor’s Note – We have a great page on making dipping chocolate!

Homemade Pretzels Recipe

Packages of refrigerator pizza dough (one 10-oz pkg will make about 10 pretzels)
Sweetener (I like maple syrup)
or salt (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Beaten egg
1 Tablespoon of water

Process
Lightly flour a cutting board or wax paper.
Unroll the pizza dough.
Cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide.
Make whatever shapes you want – they don’t have to be the traditional pretzel shape – you can make all kinds of things – see our ideas further below.
Then mix together the water and egg, to brush over the shapes.
Decorate and/or sprinkle them with sweetener, salt, seasoning, etc. as desired.
Bake them on a greased cookie sheet at 350 F degrees, for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

If you are making a sweet pretzel, it is also fun to decorate them with colored frosting and sprinkles, especially for occasions such as Valentine's Day, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, or patriotic days.

In these cases, also play around with different pretzel shapes. Some ideas are making long sticks (you would roll the dough into a tube), hearts, flower shapes, stars (i.e. winter holidays or patriotic), wreaths, flat coils, any kind of free-form swirls, and the traditional overlapped pretzel.

You can serve homemade pretzels at parties and even put a few in a little bag for gifts.

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