Krista’s Baking Co.’s Soft Pretzel Baking Mix with Mustard Co. (both local Seattle companies) is a fun kitchen project for all ages. Kids can have fun getting their hands messy and learn a few of the basics of baking while seeing a beloved treat come to life, and adults, whether with children or friends, can enjoy cracking their favorite German beer or pouring a glass of spätburgunder (pinot noir) and imbibing while adding a new simple savory snack to their baking repertoire.
The initial charm of Krista’s Soft Pretzel Baking Mix is its user-friendliness. While experience never hurts in the kitchen, anyone can jump into this baking kit, with its simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions, and be mixing, rolling, twisting, and baking in no time—the longest portion of the entire process is allowing the pretzel dough thirty 30 minutes to rise. Also, the kit provides almost everything you need—the only ingredients bakers need to bring to the table are a cup of warm water and a little vegetable oil and baking soda.
The first step in preparing Krista’s pretzels is the simplest and the easiest. All it takes is adding Krista’s Soft Pretzel Baking Mix and Fleischmann’s active dry yeast (kosher) to a bowl and pouring in a cup of warm water and two tablespoons of vegetable oil then mixing these ingredients together. A wooden spoon is recommended, but kids might enjoy kneading the dough with their hands until a soft, sticky ball is formed. After this, all that is needed is letting the dough sit and rise in a warm place under a towel for the 30 minutes mentioned above. Adults can use this time to appreciate their beverage of choice and set up for subsequent steps, while kids might find diversion in attempting to wash off the likely bits of dough stuck to their hands.
The most difficult part in the process of baking Krista’s pretzels is preceded by separating the risen dough into however many even balls of dough as pretzels desired—the packaging and recipe suggest eight. Then it’s time to roll out these evenly portioned dough balls into dough ropes. If there is a secret to rolling out perfectly cylindrical, evenly diametered dough ropes, it shan’t be divulged here. Suffice it to say, this might be either the most fun or most frustrating step in the process, for kids and adults alike.
Once your perfect, or imperfect, dough ropes are completed, the most satisfying step in the baking process is twisting and folding the ropes into the classic pretzel shape. The trick here will be left to your own discovery or research, but it is easy to imagine most participants will be pleased with the technique, result, and knowledge of how to render a new shape.
One of the last steps in baking Krista’s pretzels might surprise some—the freshly formed, still doughy pretzels are plopped into boiling water for 15–30 seconds on each side then transferred to a greased baking sheet. The boiled dough is then sprinkled with the provided hand-harvested Oregonian salt from Jacobsen Salt Co. and placed in the oven for 10–12 minutes—making the actual baking time for these pretzels relatively quick, though providing enough time to perhaps open a second beer or pour another glass of wine.
And finally, the pretzels are complete. While it is best to eat soft pretzels while they are still warm, they will need some time to cool, so take a few minutes to admire your work and portion out several servings of Mustard Co.’s Classic mustard, included in the kit. And when the pretzels have cooled enough to be picked up, dig in, and you will discover the strongest merits of Krista’s Baking Co.’s Soft Pretzel Baking Mix with Mustard Co. are not the ease and educating qualities of the preparation. The pretzels themselves are chewy and savory with a less-processed wholesomeness and Mustard Co. Classic mustard is outstanding (if possibly a little spicy for younger foodies). It is hard to say with this product which outshines, the journey or the destination.
You can find Krista’s Baking Co.’s Soft Pretzel Baking Mix with Mustard Co. at Seven Coffee Roasters Market and Café on Ravenna Blvd. in Seattle. Be safe and be sure your children are safe in the kitchen, have fun, and enjoy!