I made pretzels! Woohoo!
I baked these delicious pretzels along with two wonderful ladies ~ Ingrid from 3 B’s and Monica from Lick the Bowl Good. I got to choose our first recipe, and I chose a recipe I’ve had bookmarked for a while now. Soft pretzels! Yeast recipes haven’t ever worked out terribly well for me, but I’ve had success. Pretzels have been made!! And devoured!! In fact, if it’s possible to eat your weight in pretzels, then that may be what I’ve done.
This is a pretty easy recipe with a great tutorial. Being a novice, I don’t think the dough rolled out perfectly for me, and most of my pretzels fell apart during the boiling process. No big deal though – they are very easy to reshape once they’re on the cookie sheet. After making a few pretzel twists, I decided to just cut some into small pretzel bites. So much faster and easier, and every bit as delicious as their bigger counterparts. Maybe a little too convenient though. I swear, once you start popping these in your mouth, you’re really wishing for a bottomless bowl of them. The pretzel bites were definitely my Sam’s favorites, and I’ve promised him that we’ll make them again soon.
The only place I deviated from the original recipe was by using melted butter instead of the egg wash to coat the pretzels before baking them. I recommend doing that for the subtle butter flavor and the gorgeous golden color. I did a couple with the egg wash too, so I could compare the two. Butter wins, for sure.
It’s hard to beat a homemade pretzel straight from the oven, I’ll tell ya. When you combine that wonderful aroma with the yeasty goodness, there’s no way you could go wrong with this snack. We’ll definitely be making them again and again.
Recipe: Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 c. warm water (110-115 degrees, and warm to the touch)
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted (Plus an additional 2-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, for later.)
vegetable oil, for pan (I used canola oil.)
10 c. water
2/3 c. baking soda
1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash (I melted that extra butter and preferred that over the egg wash.)
sea salt for sprinkling
Combine the warm water, sugar, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast and allow to sit for 5 minutes so mixture can begin to foam. Add the flour and melted butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until combined. (Macheesmo has tips on kneading this dough by hand too.) Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes. Place ball of dough in a clean bowl that has been coated well with oil. Turn dough to coat, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and sit in a warm place for 55-60 minutes. The dough will double in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil. Turn the pretzel dough out onto your work surface and divide into 8 even sections. Roll each piece into a 24″ rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, cross the ends over each other, and press onto the bottom to make a pretzel shape. (Again, Macheesmo comes through with great tips.) Place the pretzels, one at a time, in the boiling water for 30 seconds on each side. Remove each from water with one or two large spatulas, and place on baking sheet. Reshape as necessary. Brush pretzels with egg wash (or that extra melted butter!!), sprinkle with sea salt, and bake until golden brown, approximately 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
(If you want pretzel bites, just roll your 24″ piece of dough and snip it into bite-size pieces. You can place one batch at a time into the boiling water, then continue as you would making regular pretzels.)