Soft pretzels have me eating out of their hand, or I am eating them from my hand? Either way I will always get a soft pretzel at a sporting event, state fair, or anywhere else I can get them. Today I made them and left myself no restrictions.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
(Found at Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 16 pretzels
- 2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 packet yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
- 5-6 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg
- coarse or pretzel salt
- non-stick cooking spray
Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl and stir with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.
Add 1 cup flour to yeast and mix until combined; don’t work about lumps of flour.
Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined. I actually turned the dough out onto a floured board and kneaded it with my hands for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and knead for 1 more minute. Knead until dough becomes smooth.
Coat all sides of a large bowl with oil. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles.
Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces, wrap in plastic.
Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long snake. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; 8 should fit on each sheet. Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (careful because it will boil up) and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach for 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon or spachula to transfer to a baking sheet. Continue until all are poached.
Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.
I sprinkled a few with cinnamon-sugar mixture and dipped them in a powdered sugar-water glaze.. mmmm! And of course, you can’t have a soft pretzel without plain old yellow mustard!! They may not have looked like the prettiest pretzels, but they were damn good. Don’t be intimidated and give these a try.
These pretzels are best served right away. Store them out at room temperature uncovered, otherwise they become soggy.