Soft Pretzels is a recipe that I have wanted to make for quite a while but I was bit skeptical thinking that they may not turn out well being made at home. A few days ago on our way out the mall my son asked for a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s as he usually does. As we stood there I watched the guy cut the dough, shape and then cook it. I then had my husband ask him a ton of questions like “what is that stuff you dip the pretzel in before you cook it” and so on. After we left I felt pretty confident that maybe I could make them at home myself. So last night I gathered my tools and went to town.
Since the weather is cooler out now I was worried that my dough would not rise well so I turned on the oven light and sit my dough which was covered with a damp towel (just like they did at Auntie Anne’s) and allowed the dough to rise, it was perfect and I could see the rise working almost immediately. The guy at Auntie Anne’s sure knew how to twist the pretzel dough. He was flipping and doing all these moves and had a perfect pretzel in a few seconds. I on the other hand carefully shaped mine on my non-stick mat. Oh well, it looked better than it did in my head so I was happy. Eight minutes were the absolute perfect time allowing the pretzel to get that perfect crisp bottom and golden top. You can really add whatever topping that you may like at this point. I personally love the melted butter and sea salt mixture. I was out of sea salt so I just sprinkled on table salt and the taste was right on. These pretzels not only taste as good as the store bought kind they taste better. They were gone in no time making me wish I made more.
2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons hot water
2-1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Melted butter, for topping
sea salt, for topping
1. In a small bowl add yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 3 tablespoons of hot water, allow to sit until frothy for 5 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and oil, mix. Add yeast mixture and add a small amount of the 1/2 cups water a little at a time until a dough consistency forms. Knead well, about 5 minutes.
3. Cover dough with a damp towel and sit in a warm place and allow dough to double, about an hour.
4. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Place baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper in the oven allowing to get hot. In a large bowl add water and baking soda, mix. Meanwhile, roll dough into long skinny ropes about 2 feet long and the size of your pinky. Form each piece into a pretzel shape, dip in baking soda water and place on baking sheet, 3 to 4 pretzels should fit on each batch. Cook each batch for 8 minutes until finished. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
Yields: 7 pretzels