Saturday, July 24, 2010

Soft Pretzels

Adapted from

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
Spray butter & 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping (optional)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together 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. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, 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 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope (pretzels in photo above were rolled to about 15-inches before get a more 'pretzel' look, you'll probably need to roll them to 20 inches or so) and twist into a pretzel shape.

Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a dish towel or paper towels to remove some of the moisture from the bottom. Place pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet (optional: spray each pretzel with a couple squirts of spray butter). Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

Once baked, pretzels can be frozen and reheated in the oven as needed.

These are simply AMAZING!!
We decided to make them cinnamon/sugar pretzels by dunking each in melted butter and topping with fresh ground cinnamon and sugar after baking. Everyone asked for more :)

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