Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soft Pretzels

I've had pretzels on the brain.

Last week my husband and I went amusement park hopping and everywhere we went there were soft baked pretzels.

Their smell taunted me for days. 
They pleaded with me to buy them all and not leave until I'd eaten every last crumb.
I finally gave in to their demands and bought one on the last day of our trip. 

But guess what?
It sucked big time!
It tasted like a big hunk of super salty dry bread.
Not cool, not cool my friends.

Since that terribly disappointing moment all I've been able to think about is righting this injustice and making myself a good pretzel.

Well that time has finally arrived. (I think I was home about 10 hours before I started making pretzels.)
It took a little time to boil, brush and bake but it was totally worth it!
These are so much better than store bought ones and I love that I can control the amount of salt on them.

The trickiest part seemed to be forming them. Next time I'm going to try to roll them thinner so they're more ummm.... pretzel like and less glob of dough like.

Soft Pretzels
Makes 8 - 10
Source: Annie's Eats

1 ½ cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
4 ½ cups flour
¼ cup melted butter

⅔ cup baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
pretzel (or coarse) salt

1. To make the dough combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter until the dough just comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
2. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 50 - 55 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Bring the water and baking soda to boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 or 10 pieces depending on the size of pretzel you want. Roll each piece into a long thin rope. Shape into a pretzel and place on the baking sheets.
4. Working with 1 or 2 at a time, boil the pretzels for 30 seconds each. Once all the pretzels have been boiled brush with the egg and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the preheated oven until dark brown (about 12 minutes). Cool 5 minutes before enjoying.

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