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?)
- 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.