Soft Pretzels

This past week we had a few snow days and when that happens the KitchenAide makes a timely appearance. We had recently watched an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Network. I think the guy is a little goofy but his recipes usually turn out spot-on, even if they are a bit cumbersome sometimes…WELL, we watched him make soft pretzels on this snow-day eve which made us all get a BIG TIME craving for some salty, chewy goodness. I happened to have a few extra packets of dry-active yeast, so we were good to go!
I think they turned out pretty well and considering they were all gone very quickly I can say that my first foray into homemade pretzel making was a success.
Here’s how I did them:

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
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~I used Coarse sea salt because I don’t have pretzel salt

1. 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

3. 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.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
5. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

6. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and 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.
7. 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.

8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

to find original recipe from Alton Brown click here

2 Responses

  1. Ali

    I am so obsessed with pretzels. I tried the same recipe last week, and even though there’s only the two of us here, these things did not last. I forced my husband to let me freeze two so that we could have a quick fix the next time the craving sets in.

    Did your pretzels have an odd taste on the bottom? I’m guessing that it comes from the baking soda bath water being left on the pretzel bottom. Anyway, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for that…

    1. shelly

      IT’s been a while since I’ve made them, so I don’t remember an odd taste, but possibly it could have been the baking soda. I might try baking them on a parchment lined baking sheet next time…I find things bake up a little nicer on parchment 🙂

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