Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Soft Pretzels

We love pretzels. We can't make a trip to the mall without stopping at the pretzel shop and indulging in the buttery and salty goodness. Fortunate for our pockets and unfortunate for our bellies, that's about 2-3 times a year we make that splurge.

When I started making pretzels at home, my husband added one more thing to his list of things he loves about me. yay! I admit, they're good. Almost too good.


If you've got extra little hands roaming around your living quarters, I suggest offering them a chance to get in on the action. It brings forth good peace and cheerful chatter. You might be left with a slight mess, but that's easier to clean up than the guilt of frustrating temperaments. Don't ya say?

Follow along...

Mix your yeast, water and sugar in a bowl. Add the flour and knead a short bit. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover. You can cover with plastic or with a clean towel like I did. Put in a warm spot, the top of the oven is good especially if your oven is already set to 450...hint hint. 

Now go find something else to do for, I'd say, about an hour. Come back to check it after that time frame and see if it's doubled in size. It should have.
*if you don't put it in a warm spot, it'll take a LOT LOT LOT longer to rise...just sayin'*

Call the Little's in and get busy creating the goodies. You can make traditional pretzels, pretzel bites, pretzel rolls for sandwiches...or...pretzel braids. Super pretty if you ask me and yummy to boot.

For the Dough:
4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm water (not hot)
2 1/4 t yeast
1 t sugar
2 t kosher salt
2 T melted butter
1-2 T olive oil for your bowl

Additional Ingredients/Items Needed:
baking soda
kosher salt
egg yolk (optional)
2 baking sheets

Step by Step:

1. Mix the warm water, yeast and sugar together in a bowl to dissolve the yeast.
2. Add the flour and mix well until the dough comes together.
3. Knead either on a board or in your mixer for about 4-5 minutes.
4. Take your oil and coat the sides of a large bowl and place the dough int he bowl.
5. Flip it over once to coat the bottom.
6. Cover with either plastic or a clean towel.
7. Let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
8. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. This will help create that warm place for the dough to rise.
9. In a slightly large pot, bring some water to a boil.
10. Add in the baking soda...about 3/4 cup worth.
11. Roll, ball, braid your pretzel dough into the desired shape.
12. Gently place the dough into the water for about 20-30 seconds.
13. Carefully place the dough onto a greased baking sheets and brush with the egg yolk and sprinkle with salt..or...just sprinkle with salt. The egg yolk will create a golden brown color.
14. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. If you don't use the egg yolk they will stay a lighter color so just watch the time.
15. Remove and allow to cool.


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