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Soft pretzels. Need I say more? Making homemade pretzels are a sure fire way to claim the kitchen queen or king throne. (At least in my house) 🙂 My kids and hubby can hardly wait a second when they come out of the oven before snagging one. I usually make a triple batch so I can freeze some (They freeze really well, just microwave for 1 minute to enjoy) but they rarely make it to the freezer. I’ve tried quite a few recipes for soft pretzels, these are by far our favorite. Soft, chewy, and the baking soda bath really gives them that great texture that a good pretzel has to have.
Pretzel salt can be a little hard to find, but totally worth it. I order it through King Arthur Flour, but maybe you could bribe a pretzel store employee to sell you some if you can’t wait for it to ship 😉
We like them plain, or served with german mustard, with powdered seasoning (like for popcorn), or (my personal favorite) homemade caramel sauce with chopped almonds… yum! 🙂
What are you waiting for? Go claim your throne!
SOFT PRETZELS (Twists and Sticks)
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 T sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
2 oz butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with 1 T water)
Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer (you could mix this by hand as well of course).
Mix until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Place in an oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 450 degrees and bring the water to a boil with the baking soda (A wider pot will come in handy here too). While the water is heating form the pretzels.
Lightly oil (or spray with nonstick spray) your countertop. Turn out the dough and divide into 8 pieces. Make a U shape:
Then cross the ends over twice:
Fold the ends down over the bottom of the U:
Place on a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Pick up here to reshape the twist:
Place in boiling water (as many as you can fit without crowding) for 30 seconds:
Quickly remove from water with a slotted spatula and place back on the baking sheet.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake 12-14 minutes or until dark golden brown.
And for the flavored variety…
If you like the flavored soft pretzels like you get in the mall, you’ll love these. Just brush a pretzel with a little melted butter and sprinkle on some powdered popcorn seasoning. (Our favorite is the “Amish Country” brand, sour cream and onion flavor).
Recipe very slightly adapted from Alton Brown.