Amazingly easy soft pretzels with no complicated steps and no rising needed – they are ready to eat quickly, making them perfect for easy snacks and fun meals.
These soft pretzels are really good tasting, but better yet they are the easiest homemade pretzels you’ll find. They were one of the most requested recipes from my kids when they were growing up – and all their friends.
Now I’m not going to pretend like they are the best soft pretzels anywhere – you know, like the ones from the stores that have made thousands from selling them. But they have the chewy and soft texture like all good pretzels should have (not just a roll shaped like a pretzel, a-hem) and straight out of the oven they taste amazing.
Without any boiling or long-rise steps, you can make for easy snacks or even to go with a fun dinner. After many years of making them, I have found that they are a great recipe to make with kids.
In fact, they are so easy and yummy that making these with kids of all ages will make you their favorite mom, dad, babysitter, aunt, grandparent – or whatever you are to them. Your whole family will be pretty happy with the results, too. They are usually gone in a day at our house.
No Knead No Rise Soft Pretzels
Since there are only a few ingredients to mix up and no waiting for kneading or rising, the kids can move right to shaping their own pieces of dough. From there it’s another few minutes to bake and cool (a bit!) before tasting their creations.
I started making these when my kids were little as something fun to do when they had playdates. One of my friends and I organized bi-weekly play dates to give the other some time for errands and shopping and her girls surprised me by asking to make these every time they came over. They always wanted to make the pretzels- not anything else, even when I offered. Same with my nieces and nephews a few years later.
The littlest people can help pour in the ingredients and just pat the dough if rolling is too hard – all shapes are allowed, not just traditional pretzel shapes.
At about four and up, rolling is easy and all kinds of shapes become within reach. The dough is pretty easy to shape and doesn’t spring back like a lot of bread doughs can.
The kids always love the “painting” part. They brush on an egg wash and sprinkle the tops with some kosher salt.
By the way, the egg wash is crucial to giving this simple bread dough the chewy mouth feel of a pretzel- so don’t skip this step or use butter instead. While butter tastes good, it makes the pretzel more like a roll in texture.
Here are some ideas for different shapes:
Letters (a great crossover activity for preschoolers learning their letters!).
Hearts. Valentines, anyone?
Traditional pretzel shapes.
And even the “blob” for those little ones who just can’t grasp the “roll” technique yet. It’s fun to let them make whatever shape they want, helping only when they ask so that they have a feeling of accomplishment.
No matter what the shape, when anyone takes a first bite of one of these soft pretzels, the pretzel tastes that much sweeter from the hands that made it.