Soft Pretzels!

14 Sep

This baking episode literally came out of nowhere. I was innocently just standing around in my kitchen, preparing my breakfast and simultaneously stalking a few blogs here and there. All of a sudden, BOOM. Pretzels. A recipe. On my computer screen. Right out of nowhere!

I read the recipe. Easy enough. I read the ingredients list. Check. I looked at the pictures. Oh sweet mother of all that is carb-y and salty and interestingly-shaped. The pretzels were officially on my to do list.

Make yeast-y  ball of dough.

Check.

Let rise. Do other things.

(Like fold laundry….gawd…)

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. I divided the recipe in half and made 8 smaller pieces. The original also yields 8 pretzels, but they looked too huge for this gal. You can make 4 big ones if you like.

Roll into a “U” shape, then continue to shape into a pretzel. I guess you could be untraditional and just twist it….or make it into the letter “B”…..for Badass tradition breaker.

Pop into boiling water for 3o seconds per pretzel.

Place onto baking sheet, top with whatever your heart desires. I totally would have done cheese….if I had any at the time. I settled for some demerera sugar, smoked sea salt and black and white sesame seeds: all really yummy stand-ins for cheese.

Bake until golden brown and pretzel-like.

Eat while warm.

I did.

I also burned my mouth, but that is the price you pay for soft, warm, delicious knotted bread things. Totally worth it.

Soft Pretzels

adapted from Alton Brown

3/4 cups warm water

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 package active dry yeast (1/8 oz…or 3.5 g)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

5 cups water

1/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in a measuring cup and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the yeast mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture into a bowl (or mixer bowl if you’re lucky enough to have one). Using the dough hook attachment (or man power and a wooden spoon), slowly until well combined. Then, mix more vigorously 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.

Bring the 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an adequately-sized pot.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (or 4 bigger ones). Roll out each piece of dough into a 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 parchment-lined baking sheet.

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 your toppings. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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4 Responses to “Soft Pretzels!”

  1. Rachael Abram September 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I can’t believe I’m missing all of this craziness..

  2. Diane September 19, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    this is so happening in my house very soon!!

  3. Heather September 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I have been dying to make pretzels…I want to do it with the kids…there is always something more I want to do with them. But this week we’re on cupcakes and then birthday parties this weekend!

    • Fabi September 22, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      These are perfect for kids! The dough is really easy to work with

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