Alas and alack, the library has a kitchen but the kitchen has neither stove nor oven. So if I want to do cooking projects with the 3-5 set on Thursday afternoons, my choices are limited.
We make this soft pretzel dough before story hours. Everyone gets to smell the yeast (some like it, some don't), to stir the yeast/sugar/water mix. Then they go wash their hands before we mix in the flour, each getting a turn to add some and stir the dough. Then everyone gets to knead it, though a lot of them simply squish the dough between their fingers.
Everyone has to wash their hands again, then it's story hour while the dough rises for about 20 minutes. That's enough to be impressive. Then each gets a small portion in a bag to take and bake at home.
This should make anywhere from 12-24 pretzels, depending how you use the dough.
3 packages of active yeast.(2 Tbs and 3/4 tsp if you're using jarred stuff)
4 Tbs of sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water.
Combine in a large bowl. Mix, then let stand for 2-5 minutes until bubbles and foam appear.
Add 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
A wet dough will form. Add a little extra flour and knead the dough.
Add a little corn oil to the bowl and turn the dough to coat it lightly.
Cover the dough and let it rest at least 20 minutes
Heat oven to 475 degrees F
Pinch off bits of dough, roll into long "snakes", then shape any way you like.
Place on a greased/parchment covered baking sheet. Brush with a little butter, sprinkle with salt or sugar if desired.
Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.