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Soft Pretzels

April 11, 2011

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are so delicious.  The first time I was introduced to them was when I was living in Germany.  There is nothing like walking down cobble stone streets first thing in the morning and smells fresh pretzels and bread baking.  It was a smell that was so comforting and warm.  When I walked into the bakery and saw those beautiful fresh pretzels I was in love.  They were so doughy, tender, buttery and soft. Traditionally, pretzels are to be boiled in a caustic bath, which is dangerous to say the least.  I have some experience working with lye (I use to make homemade soaps) and I have to say, it is one of my least favorite things to do along with using bleach.  Fortunately, the baking soda bath does a bang up job, these pretzels are amazing.  If you have ever wanted to trying making your own pretzels, you should do it.  They are so delicious.  They are great with beer, best served warm and fresh.

Ingredients and Directions for Soft Pretzels

Ingredients and Directions for Soft Pretzels

1.  Ingredients

1 cup warm water

2-1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 3/4 – 3 cups flour

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

Soda Bath

6 cups water

3 tablespoons baking soda

Topping

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

To Prepare the soft pretzels

2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes to proof.

3. Add the yeast mixture along with the melted butter.

4. Add the brown sugar, salt and 2 3/4 cups of the flour to your heavy-duty mixer and knead dough for about 8 minutes, adding the last 1/4 cup of flour if necessary. You can also do this by hand.  The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but very uniform and smooth. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled.

5. Punch down the dough.

6. Divide the dough into 12 equal shapes and form them into small balls.

7. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes.

8. Roll the small balls into 20″ lengths and form them into pretzel shapes. If you notice them getting hard to roll (springing back), cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5 minutes and then continue rolling out.

9. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the pretzels to rise for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

10. In a large pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil.  Add the pretzels one at a time to the boiling water for 1 minute. Press down into the boiling water with a spatula.

11. Remove and place on a cooling rack. When cooled, transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.

12. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden to dark brown.

Makes 12 Pretzels

(Adapted from Canadian Living)

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

You could shape these into sticks as well as pretzels for something a little different and equally as tasty.  The important thing is to eat them warm and fresh, they are not the same the day after or cold.

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2011 3:35 am

    I also love the smell of fresh baked bread! thanks for this post, the step by step pictures are great!

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