"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one'."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Joyeux Kitchen: Bre's Soft Pretzels

I've tried, on Doug's request, to make soft pretzels in the past, but the result was always dense, tough, sort of crumbly, nothing like Auntie Anne's yummy mall treats.  And then a friend from Kansas sent me this recipe so I had to give it a try.  YUM.  They're super-soft and chewy and easy to make.

You'll need:
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (for topping)
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in the warm water (yeast and sugar in the bowl first, pour water in).  Let stand until creamy, 10 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the center, add the oil and yeast mixture.  Mix and form into a dough using the paddle attachment of your mixer.  If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water (**I actually had to add 7 tbsp of water so I think it really depends on your flour and elevation).  Switch to the bread hook attachment of your mixer.  Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour. 

Preheat oven to 450 (**mine bake better at 425, know your oven).  In a large bowl dissolve baking soda in hot water.  When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface **or parchment paper to save yourself the mess** and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a thin rope and twist into a pretzel shape (it took me five minutes and a trip to the pantry to get a crunchy pretzel example to figure out the twist--I felt like an idiot).  Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and placed on a greased baking sheet (or, again, parchment paper on a baking sheet and save the mess).  Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.  Bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until browned. 

They're great just like that but here are some other ideas for toppings if you're feeling creative: cinnamon and sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, shredded sweetened coconut, red pepper flakes and jarred jalapenos with shredded pepper jack cheese, or go Greek with sun dried tomato and feta. 

Thanks for the recipe tip Bre! 

1 comment:

  1. You are very welcome! Miss you bunches!! I was thinking the other day how we used to lay in your room and stare at those 3-D posters forever... until our eyes would cross and you could see the "magic" picture.. oooo......