Thursday, May 9, 2013

Soft Pretzels

Way back when, I mentioned my craving for homemade soft pretzels. I actually made these in February, during primo football season, and they were FANTASTIC - chewy and perfect. However, then first trimester nausea hit and I couldn't face, much less write about anything with sea salt. Now that I'm back to a normal, sea-salty diet, I'm excited to share this recipe that (I promise) is much less intimidating than it looks. 

OK, get all your kitchen tools ready and clear off a counter top. While fairly easy, this recipe will take over your kitchen and cover it in flour. Or maybe you're a much more organized cook and that was just me... No judging.

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp (one packet) yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
water (for boiling)
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp melter butter or egg wash (egg mixed with a bit of water)
Sea salt or kosher salt (I picked mine up from the spice bins at Whole Foods)


1. Mix 1 1/3 cups water with the sugar, yeast and salt. Let this sit for a while until it starts to bubble (activate the yeast).

2. Add flour and the 4 tbsps of butter. (Technically, you should use the paddle attachment for the first part and the dough hook for the second part, but I used my regular mixing whisk and it turned out just fine. Work with what you have.) Mix it on low. If you don't have a dough hook, you'll want to do a bit of kneading by hand until the dough bounces back when touched.

3. Place the dough in a bowl (it will double in size, so keep that in mind when choosing your bowl) and set it in a warm place for about an hour or until said doubling in size has occurred.

4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper, and start boiling a pot of water with the baking soda. (Yes, you will both boil and bake the pretzels.)

5. Take about an eighth of the dough out of the bowl to make your first pretzel. Cover the bowl with a wet paper towel to keep the rest of the dough from drying out (trust me, it dries out fast!).

6. Roll out the pretzel dough (use flour to keep it from sticking) until you have a rope that's about a foot to a foot and a half. This is the part that took me the longest amount of time. Once you have a decent rope of dough, make a u-shape, then pull each side down and across to make a pretzel formation. Pinch the dough in the areas where it connects to keep the pretzel from falling apart in the next step. (See photos below.)

7. Use a flat, slotted spatula to lower the formed pretzel into the boiling water. Let it stay in the water for 30 seconds then remove the pretzel from the water and set it on the baking sheet. Brush the pretzel with melted butter or egg wash and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt. (With the sea salt I found it easiest to push each piece of salt into the pretzel). Repeat this process until all of your pretzels are salted and on the baking sheet.

8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.

Adapted from...

A few variations...
I ended up making six pretzels and braiding the remaining dough with white cheddar cheese. I boiled and baked the same as the regular pretzels. I'd think you could also stuff the pretzel dough with cheeses or deli meat to make stuffed breads (or mini pretzel bites!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...