Soft Pretzels

It’s almost December and I can honestly say the only thing I like about the colder climate is being able to bake and heat up the kitchen. We have been lucky to have such a hot summer and warm fall, we had a short snow and it was gone the next day. Everyone must have comfort on the brain, and so it’s time to make something chewy salty warm and delicious. Soft pretzels may be a little more work than making bread but well worth it. This recipe makes about 8 good sized pretzels. Serve with melted butter, Dijon mustard and a cold beer.

Soft Baked Pretzels

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 cups of all-purpose-flour (appoximately)
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar (I use brown sugar, but either is fine)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of active dry yeast
  • 2Tbspn of melted butter(or earthbalance)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 8 more cups of water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Method

Add warm water, sugar and salt to large bowl, once dissolved add the yeast and mix well.

Let yeast mixture site and turn oven on your lowest setting for proofing.

Add the first cup of flour and combine well. Then add the melter butter and the rest of the flour.The dough should be slightly sticky so don’t dd too much flour.
You should be able to mix everything together with your hands and form a small ball.

Knead it for about 5 minutes adding flour to the counter as needed.Cover with oil and let stadn in bowl. Cover with plasitc wrap and dish towel, turn off oven and let porrf for an hour.

When the dough is nice and big. Mix the 8 cups of water and the baking soda in a shallow pan. Bring them to a boil and then turn the heat off. Divid into half, then each section into half again and once more so you have 8 equal sized dough balls.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C)

Grease a work surface ( I use my cutting board) with some oil and place the dough on it. Roll the dough into a think rope about the length of your forearm or a little longer.

Make a u-shape with the rope. Then twist the ends along each other once. Fold them towards yourself and press each end on to the dough that is forming the base of the u-shape. Make sure these ends are securely pressed or they will loosen later when you drop them in the boiling water.
Place the pretzels on a greased baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper).

Drop each pretzel carefully, one by one, into the boiling water for around 1 minute no longer, and place them back on the greased baking sheet.

Mix the egg yolk and brush each pretzel with this mixture. Sprinkle each one with the pretzel salt I used Himalayan however any kosher salt or corse gorund will work.

Place in the oven for about 12 minutes. Make sure they are golden brown before taking them out.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes, no more, as they are great to serve warm and fresh.

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