Bake Giant Pretzel 'Bones' Inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog

If your young reader loves Clifford the Big Red Dog, try making this simple soft-pretzel recipe together.

By Regan Burns



Bake Giant Pretzel 'Bones' Inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog

What snack would you share with a giant red dog? How about these super-sized pretzel bones inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog?! They’re loaded with whole-grain flour and seeds, making them much healthier than the average soft pretzel. We like them on their own, but they’re also great with mustard or a mixture of peanut butter and honey.


  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 1 (¼-ounce) packet yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping dough
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more for garnishing pretzels
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons assorted healthy seeds such as chia, sesame, or flax


  1. In a small pot, heat water and milk to 110 degrees and pour into bowl of stand mixer; add yeast and sugar and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. In separate bowl, whisk together flours and salt. 
  2. Add flour to yeast mixture; mix on low with dough-hook attachment until combined. With machine running, add melted butter and increase speed to medium. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, and pulling away from sides of machine, about 5 to 7 minutes (dough will be sticky.) Drape with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil, stirring until baking soda is dissolved; turn off stove.
  3. Punch down dough and transfer to a floured surface; divide into 8 equal pieces. Stretch pieces into long “bones,” placing four on each baking sheet (they should stretch the width of the sheet.) Use fingers to make 2 fat “bone-shaped” ends on each piece.
  4. One at a time, submerge each “bone” in the baking soda mixture for a few seconds, using a slotted spoon to remove it from the hot liquid. Return to prepared baking sheet and, if necessary, carefully reshape. Sprinkle bones with salt and seeds. Bake, rotating pans once, until bones are dark brown and fully cooked, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Makes 8

Note: Bones are best eaten the same day they are made, but can be stored in a sealed plastic bag for up to two days. Warm in the toaster or oven before eating.

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