Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Soft Pretzels


Here's a great recipe for making soft pretzels. Of course it took me 3 tries.... :) The website calls for making a sauce, but I skipped that.
I didn't have pretzel salt so I used coarse sea salt (that was what we had in the cabinet, and it worked fine) I also tried to immitate Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar soft pretzels (You know the one in the mall?)


For the Pretzels:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast.
  • Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon.
  • Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.)
  • Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch.
  • Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
  • Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
  • Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.
It seems like a lot of steps but it's quite easy. And really worth it, because they are yummy!

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