Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Pretzels

I've never had an Auntie Annie's soft pretzel.  I have certainly been enticed by the wonderful aromas of those shops in the shopping malls, but it's just not something I've ever tried.  Recently, while watching Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Network, he made soft pretzels and they looked so darn fun to make, I just knew it was something I had to try.

These were fairly easy to make, though the shaping took a few tries to come up with the classic pretzel shape.  Like the bagels I made recently, these most be boiled first before baking. If when boiling, they lose there shape, they can easily be rearranged when you set them on the baking sheet.  The toppings I chose were sesame seed and salt, using a large grained salt as opposed to kosher or table salt.  I read about brushing them in butter when they come out of the oven and then dipping them in cinnamon sugar. That would be good too.

If you're a fan of the soft pretzel, this is a recipe you'll want to try for a fun day in the kitchen!

Soft Pretzels


1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt


Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.   Makes 8.

1 comment:

whack patti said...