Looking for a low-cost activity that brings the family together and produces delicious results? Try introducing your children to baking.

Involving your kids when preparing a meal provides time to bond as a family and can help kids learn a few basic kitchen lessons at an early age. When you start with bread or pretzel dough, you have plenty of simple and fun options that will lead to entertaining adventures in the kitchen.

From the joy your children will derive from making shapes with dough to the simple and tasty dishes you can make together, a day of family baking will leave your whole family smiling and satisfied.

If you’re looking for a place to start, consider Auntie Anne’s At-Home Baking Kit, which includes pretzel dough mix, yeast, and fixings like salt and cinnamon sugar to top your hand-twisted soft pretzels. Here are a few examples of the types of meals and snacks you can prepare using the dough as your base:

Pretzels: What better way to start than with something simple and delicious? Twist into the classic pretzel bowtie or keep it simple with pretzel sticks. Coat sticks with cinnamon sugar for a sweet spin on a savory delight. Or for a fun activity for the kids, create numbers, letters and shapes with your pretzels.

Appetizers: Beef up your pretzels by wrapping dough around mini hot dogs for tasty pretzel dog bites. Or cut dough into small pieces, coat with salt and serve pretzel nuggets along with a variety of your family’s favorite dipping sauces like queso and honey mustard.

Pizzas: One of the easiest and most fun doughy recipes is the simple homemade pizza. Make mini crusts for each of your kids, lay out the toppings and let them go to town making the pie of their dreams. Also great for dessert pizzas.

Breakfast goodies: Monkey bread is a great family baking adventure. Your children can help tear the dough into pieces as you build your masterpiece, then have tons of fun ripping apart the finished product when they dig into the baked pastry.

Desserts: Fried dough is a simple yet divine snack, and you can add extra sweetness with chocolate, caramel or cinnamon and sugar. Or concoct some bread pudding for a sweet and doughy dessert that your kids are sure to love. Or try making apple dumplings for a crisp, sweet seasonal treat.

For more dough-based recipes, visit or try this easy deep-dish pizza recipe:

Dough preparation:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve contents of one yeast packet in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm tap water (105 F). Let sit about 2 minutes. Water temperature must not exceed 115 F.

2. Add one packet of Auntie Anne’s dough mix to yeast/water mixture. Using a rubber spatula (or your hands), mix until dough ball forms.

3. Place dough ball onto lightly floured surface and knead until soft, slightly tacky dough is formed (approximately 5 to 7 minutes). Add a small amount of flour if dough is too sticky.

4. Place dough ball into a large bowl that has been coated with nonstick spray. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place on top of dough ball, tucking sides down around dough (to prevent dough from drying out).

5. Place bowl in a warm spot (85 to 95 F) for 30 minutes so the dough can rise.

Pizza instructions:

 1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour so the dough won’t stick.

2. Place dough ball in center of pan and gently stretch the dough out to the edge. Press edges up the side of the pan to contain sauce.

3. Pour pizza sauce in center of stretched dough and spread evenly, leaving an inch of uncovered dough around the edge. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the sauce. Optional: top the pizza with your favorite seasonings, meats or vegetable toppings.

4. Place pizza on bottom rack of oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and the bottom crust is crisp. Baking times may vary due to oven variances.

Let cool, serve and enjoy.

Courtesy of BPT