I have mentioned before that I am a carb-aholic. From my earliest of days I have loved bread in all of its many forms. Among my top choices: pretzels. I have wanted to make homemade pretzels, but for one reason or another kept delaying it. Recently my pretzel addiction has gotten re-ignited and so today, I chose to quench it.
Of course I started by reading several pretzel recipes. I was so excited to learn the secret of what gives pretzels their dark outside, soft inside, and unique flavor. I chose one from the group and set to making it. Although I was a little skeptical about the pretzels journey I was embarking on and the results it would bring. I knew I must try it.
Amazing! The pretzels turned out to be so amazing! They were perfectly delicious. These homemade pretzels look and taste exactly like a good pretzel should; crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. My entire family said they are equally as good as the pretzels you can get at a ballgame or even the pretzel stand at the mall.The only feedback that could be considered negative is that I didn’t make a double batch. Daughter Number 2 wanted to be able to take some back to college with her. “You’ve learned for next time,” she told me.
So I have, Daughter. I have learned for next time. I have learned to make large pretzel twists, small twists, and pretzel bites. The pretzel bites I covered in cinnamon and sugar.
You’d better believe with the success I had and the ease in which I found pretzel making, there will be a next time. This is a morsel I will make again soon!
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter melted
- Vegetable oil for pan
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel salt
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface, and for large pretzel twists divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
(Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007)