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Home-made Soft Pretzels

June 21, 2012
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My son came home from preschool with home-made pretzels!! They were absolutely delicious and tasted just like soft pretzels from the mall! So we decided to try them at home. And they turned out great (thanks to this recipe from Penzys Spices). It’s a great cooking project to try with kids–fun to do and pretty easy to make. We salted ours before baking, but you could also top with parmesan cheese, garlic salt, cinnamon/sugar, or seasoning salt for something different. Have fun!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2-2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups water
4 Tablespoons baking soda
Kosher salt (or other seasonings as desired-get creative!)

Directions:

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Add sugar and 2 cups bread flour, stirring well.
  • Add first cup of all-purpose flour and stir well again.
  • Turn out on a clean kitchen counter and add as much of the flour as is needed to make a soft dough. Add a sprinkle at a time while kneading, as soon as the dough starts to stick.
  • Knead dough 10 minutes to make a smooth elastic dough ball.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. (It doesn’t need to double in size but it should be substantially bigger after 30 minutes.)
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a “snake” about 18 inches in length.
  • Twist into pretzels. (This takes a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it!)
  • Pinch the “toes” hard at ends—this is important to keep the pretzel from unfolding in the boiling water.
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a low boil.
  • Add baking soda to boiling water and stir to dissolve.
  • Dip each pretzel into water-baking soda mixture, one at a time, for 5-10 seconds, making sure to get the water over the top of the pretzel—a slotted spoon works well for this.
  • Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (make sure you shake off most of the water, you don’t want your pretzels sitting in puddles of water).
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt or other toppings as desired (the seasonings won’t stick if the pretzel has completely dried off).
  • Bake 6-8 minutes.
  • The pretzels will look done on top before they are brown on the bottom, so if in doubt use a spatula to lift and look.
  • Remove quickly from parchment to a cooling rack by sliding under the pretzel with a sturdy spatula with a quick firm motion.
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