Homemade Pretzels

Sometimes, I just get in a mood for baking.  If I'm stressed or just want to focus on something, I make my way to the kitchen and get to work.  I can always go for one of those soft pretzels but never tried them on my own, and this time around it was time for a new baking adventure.




I spotted a Pretzel recipe that just looked fantastic and had some really detailed instructions and sought out to make pretzel perfection.

I started by preparing the yeast by dissolving Active Dry yeast and sugar in a cup of warm water.  I let it sit for about 10 minutes, until the yeast had dissolved and the mixture was a bit foamy.  Then I added flour and salt to the mixing bowl and poured in the yeast mixture. I used the dough hook and mixed it for about 3-5 minutes, and added in about 1/4 cup of additional flour during this process.  The idea is to get the dough fully mixed and soft in texture but not as sticky.  Once it was ready, I coated the outside of the dough in some vegetable oil and covered the bowl, then let it sit for an hour to rise.  Look at the difference!

For the next step, I set up a wide, medium sized bowl with some more water and baking soda.  I also laid down some wax paper and taped it to my table to give myself a large work space to roll out the dough.  Now for the pretzel making.  I divided the dough in half, then divided each half into 4 parts, each for one pretzel.  I rolled out a piece of the dough using my hands until it was about 2 feet in length, then twisted it into a pretzel shape.  This part was actually pretty easy; it's just a matter of forming a circle shape and twisting the ends then attaching it to the rest of the dough.  For the final step, I dipped the formed pretzel into the water and baking soda mixture and let it sit for a few seconds before transferring it to a parchment-lined pan.
I repeated the steps from above with the remaining dough, then got all the pretzels set up on a pan.  I wanted to try something different with some of them, so I melted a tablespoon of butter and spread it over one of the pans.  I sprinkled some salt over all of them, then let the pretzels rest for 10 minutes.


They only took about 15 minutes to bake and were browned and ready to go!


Now this made for an awesome treat. The buttery ones were my favorite, but the regular ones were good too.  I liked them best dipped in some mustard, and my husband was crazy about them and immediately ate 2 of them and put in a request for me to try making a jalapeño cheddar version next time (and I'm thinking of going for a cinnamon sugar version).  Once they cooled down, I microwaved them because I loved them warm. This was a great learning experience and I'm so glad I got to try something new!

Homemade Pretzels Recipe

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions:

In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the warm water with the yeast and sugar and let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and the mixture is foamy. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the flour and salt then pour in the yeast mixture.  Use the dough hook to mix the dough for about 3-5 minutes, adding some extra flour if needed, until the dough is soft but not as sticky.  Next, drizzle some oil over all sides of the dough and cover the mixing bowl.  Let rise for 1 hour, until the dough has risen and is about twice the original size.  Preheat oven to 450° F.  In a separate wide bowl add the other 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 4 parts (for a total of 8 chunks of dough).  Roll each piece into a rope shape about 2 feet long using your hands. Twist the dough into a pretzel shape, then dip into the baking soda mixture for a few seconds before placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  If desired, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over the top.  Sprinkle pretzels with salt, then let rest for 10 minutes.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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