Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soft Pretzel Recipe

We call these school day pretzels because they are perfect to mix up and eat for lunch during the bustle of managing all your responsibilities.  It's a nice warm yummy treat.
Don't be worried about the twisting.  It's really a lot easier than it looks!

Grocery List
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
3 ounces butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
4 1/2 cups flour
oil, to grease bowl
3 quarts water
2/3 cup baking soda (this is not a misprint, it really needs this)
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
Soft Pretzel Directions
1. Mix together the water, sugar, yeast, and butter. After it is well combined let rest 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt and flour to mixture and stir until well combined.  ( I recently received a stand mixer and  it is so easy to just use the dough hook and let it knead for about 3 or 4 minutes. )  If you do not have a mixer, don't worry, you can use a spoon also!  Grandma didn't have a stand mixer!  After a few minutes the dough will come together and start pulling away from the edges of the bowl.  That's a good thing!
Note: If the dough appears too wet add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time.
3.  Turn the smooth dough out onto a floored surface and knead into a ball with your hands.  Coat a large bowl all the way up the sides with oil.  Place your dough ball in the bowl and turn it to coat the outside of your dough.  (I put it back into my mixer stand bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.  I don't like washing more dishes if I don't have to!)  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise.  Where I live just about any place is hot enough to let bread rise!
4.  Let your dough rise until doubled.  It usually takes a little over an hour.

With practice you can get the top steps done in under 10 minutes.  I like to start the pretzel dough around 10:30 during a quick break from school work.  By the time the pretzel dough is doubled it is time for the kids to have their lunch break or at least work on something individually where I can start these babies cooking.

5.  Preheat your oven to 425 F.  Start a large pot of water boiling with 3 quarts water.  
6.  Make a floured surface and take fluffy dough out of bowl.  Divide into 8 even balls.  Roll each one into a long, long rope.  Shaping pretzels can be a little daunting.  Don't worry…your kids will eat it even if it looks funny.

Folding a pretzel - Take your long rope and make a circle with opening at top.  Pick up right side lay over left. Twist them around together again and flip both edges under the bottom of your circle.  You can do it!

7. Slowly….very slowly add baking soda to boiling water.  If you add it fast it will turn into a science experiment and erupt all over your stove.  Trust me.  It wasn't pretty.  Of course my stove was much cleaner after I cleaned that up!

8. 2 at a time drop your pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds.  Splash water onto tops as they cook.

9. Spray cookie sheet and place boiled pretzels on sheet with 3 or 4 inches between them.  Now you brush your egg wash on them and sprinkle on the sea salt.  Sometimes I let the kids put cinnamon and sugar and they shake it on like there is no tomorrow.  It's good {very} good.

10.  I bake them for about 13 minutes until they are golden brown.  If you want to make a little cheese sauce to dip them in... you'd probably get a gold star from the kids.
Have a lovely day, 


Jessi said...

These look excellent, Maria. And you are amazing to balance these AND school work. I'll have to try them sometime, but don't know if I can scramble back and forth between the two! My family would love them!

Wisdomseeker said...

I think I am getting fatter from just looking at the pictures. I
may make these for my crew and try not to eat them myself. That will be a chore. :)